Rapoport notes that “bad feelings” built up between Mack and the old regime because of the lack of progress in extending Mack’s contract, which expires this offseason. Rapoport adds that he still expects Mack to test the free agent market, but that he could potentially return now with the restructured front office led by new GM Ray Farmer and VP of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich.
Alex 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. With budding star T.J. Ward also facing free agency, Cleveland will have to decide whether to commit a major chunk of that cap space to only two players.