Little bit of important AFC North news to share with you. Cleveland Browns’ center Alex Mack has opted out of his contract and will become a free agent, according to Mike Garafolo.
Browns C Alex Mack has voided the final 3 years of his deal, source says. Will be a free agent next week but return to CLE still possible.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 2, 2016
After being hit with the transition tag in March of 2014, the Jacksonville Jaguars offered a five year, $42 milion deal with an opt out clause of 2015. Mack reportedly wanted to go to Jacksonville but the Browns matched, keeping Mack in Cleveland. But that opt out clause is coming back into play now, with Mack smartly waiting after the franchise tag deadline to officially opt out.
While Garafolo does noteMack could return to Cleveland, the fact he’s opting out is a strong sign he’ll explore the market and look for a stronger, more stable franchise. Still just 30, he’ll look to cash in one more time in his NFL career.
Assuming he signs somewhere outside of the AFC North, it’ll be nice for Steelers’ fans not to see Mack twice a season. And there does not appear to be a clear in-house replacement for Mack, making center just another position for the Browns to address.
He’s started all 101 of the games he’s played since the Browns’ made him a first round pick in 2009. Free agency will begin on March 9th.