We covered 3 options yesterday for the Cleveland Browns in regards to Alex Mack‘s reported contract offer sheet that he will sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has still not signed that sheet but reports continue regarding him:
So basically we know the Jags and Mack are trying to create a contract that will be tough for the Browns to match. Fine, his agent threatened that early in the process. It is possible that contract could allow Mack to become a free agent after a year or two with high money in the first season. That will be done to try to get the Browns to not match the sheet.
Yet the Browns were already prepared to sign Mack for 1 year and over $10 million that the transition tag requires. Signing him to a contract that could be only 1 year wouldn’t be highly problematic given that information. The Browns would like to keep him but if not, even if they can’t franchise tag him, they let him walk after a year or two. During that time the Browns could start to win and change the culture, meaning Mack may want to stay. The irony would be the Browns moving on from Mack as they start to succeed.
As for the contract amount there is an important aspect that is often overlooked. Many people note that the Browns, and Jags for that matter, have a good amount of cap space available this year so they can spend as much as they want this year. Even if it is a 1 year contract it could technically impact future cap space. Cap space is now rolled over from the previous year. If the Browns have $30 million available at the end of this season they can choose to carry that cap money over giving them an “extra” $30 million to spend the following year. If Mack’s contract takes $15 million of that, it is actually $15 million less to spend in the following year.
For some teams that is not important but the Browns have quite a few players coming up on free agency: Brian Hoyer, Jordan Cameron, Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, Joe Haden, and Josh Gordon to name a few. Carried over cap space can allow the Browns to sign all of those players if they choose to. While it may not be the most fan favorite decision it is possible that Mack is less important then all of those players listed and the Browns would rather lose him, move John Greco over and draft move line help, then to lose any of the players we listed.
What do you think will happen? Of our list of future free agents who are you most willing to lose to sign Mack? Are you upset at Mack for this business decision?