JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars won’t be acquiring Alex Mack after all.
That’s the case after the Cleveland Browns moved quickly Friday to match the Jaguars’ effort to acquire the free-agent center, a move confirmed late Friday afternoon by the Browns’ website, ClevelandBrowns.com.
Mack, who had been the Browns’ designated transition player, signed an offer sheet with the Jaguars on Friday afternoon, a move that gave the Browns five days to match the offer. Otherwise, the Jaguars would have acquired the five-year veteran.
But the Browns matched the offer Friday afternoon, meaning they automatically retained the services of one of the NFL’s top centers and one of the top unrestricted free agents available on this offseason’s market.
Under NFL rules, the Browns would have received no compensation from the Jaguars had they opted to not retain Mack.
Mack, 28, would have earned a little more than $10 million if he had played for the transition tag.
Mack (6-feet-4, 311 pounds), a first-round selection and the 21st selection overall by the Browns in the 2009 NFL Draft from California, never has missed a start in five NFL seasons.
He would be the most high-profile free-agent signing for the Jaguars this offseason and the second signing addressing the interior of the offensive line. The team signed offensive guard
Mack reportedly met with Jaguars officials this week.