Alex Mack is open to discussing a long-term deal with the Cleveland Browns, but he has a few questions to ask before any pen is put to paper. The rub? Mack won’t negotiate with the Browns until he returns from a humanitarian trip to Brazil at the end of the month.
Negotiations aimed at keeping Browns Pro Bowl center Alex Mack off the free agent market won’t begin until Mack returns from a humanitarian trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the end of the month, his agent told ESPN Cleveland.
That will leave the Browns less than two weeks to get a deal done before the start of free agency on March 11. […]
“If you’re looking at this from an intelligent point of view, there’s more to it than money,” said Marv Demoff. “You have to believe in what you’re doing. I want Alex first to be able to sign off and say I’m fine with all the changes and where they’re headed.
“The thing that Cleveland has most going for it is Alex really wants to play in a place where football is really important. He’s loved that about Cleveland. And he’s always been excited about being a part of building something that eventually wins. There has just been false starts and stops in Cleveland.”
The Browns have reportedly engaged in multiple contract discussions with Mack, easily one of the best free agents who could test waters come March, but sides could not arrive at a dollar figure and were off by a year on length—the Browns wanted a five-year contract; Mack initially wanted three years and then agreed to four. They reportedly agreed to revisit negotiations in January, but these plans were put on hold when the Browns front office abruptly changed coaches and, later, the entire mangement structure.
That Mack appreciates Cleveland (and playing along side a sure-fire Hall of Famer in Joe Thomas) is a great start, but the chances of getting a hometwon discount at this point would seem remote given the player’s talent level and considerable dysfunction that has permeated from the top—he’s lost his position coach of five years in George Warhop and also liked Rob Chudzinski. Mack is saying all of the right things, and appears to value the fan support, but he also holds many of the negotiating cards.
Grossi reported earlier this week that the Browns were going to persue impending free agents Mack and safety TJ Ward. Ray Farmer has roughly three weeks to tackle his first task, perhaps even less considering Mack’s self-made window.
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