Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reports that contract negotiations between the Browns and C Alex Mack won’t begin until Mack returns from a humanitarian trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the end of the month.
- Grossi adds that the Browns will then have less than two weeks to negotiate a long-term agreement that would prevent him from testing the open market.
Cleveland discussed an extension with Mack back in October, but the two sides were reportedly off on both total value and the number of years included.
- Grossi mentions that the Browns were hoping to sign him to a five-year deal, but Mack was looking for a three-year contract and later agreed to discuss a four-year pact.
Mack’s agent Marv Demoff told Grossi that Mack has a “lot of questions about the future direction of the team” to be answered, which is hardly surprising given that they surprisingly fired HC Rob Chudzinski after one year, and then cleaned out the front office just a little over a week ago.
Mack has played every snap for the Browns since being drafted in the first round in the 2009 NFL Draft. He will undoubtedly be the top center available this offseason, and will likely command something in the vicinity of the league’s highest paid center Ryan Kalil— who signed a six-year, $49.1 million deal in 2011.
That cost may be prohibitive however, considering that Cleveland is projected to have more than $45 million in estimated cap space pursuant to OverTheCap.com.
We have both players listed in our Top 50 Free Agents list.