Browns Put Transition Tag on Alex Mack

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BEREA, OH — The Cleveland Browns slapped the transition tag on center Alex Mack on Monday, which means the team can lock him into a one-year contract for $10.039 million, guaranteed.

Other teams can try to offer him a contract on the open market, but the Browns would have 5 days to match it.

The money that a “transition” player receives is the average of the ten highest paid players at a position. In Mack’s case, it’s just over $10 million.

Mack was voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career this season; he was an injury add-on previously. Coach Mike Pettine has publicly stated how important the center is to the team. The NFL Network reported Pettine met with Mack this weekend to sell him on his vision for the Browns.

It is likely the Browns will try to negotiate a new, multi-year deal to keep Mack in Cleveland for a long time.

While the team put the transition tag on Mack, they did not tag free agent safety T.J. Ward, who is likely headed to free agency. Ward is coming off his first season as a Pro Bowl safety. He was becoming one of the leaders on defense.

Cleveland is about $56 million under the salary cap and can easily take on the Mack salary. It will be interesting to see how busy and active the team will be in free agency.