Cleveland Browns Daily talks possible offer sheet for
On Thursday’s “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Jim Donovan, who is filling in for Nathan Zegura, continued to discuss media reports of an offer sheet that the Jacksonville Jaguars are preparing to give free-agent center Alex Mack.
Kevin Jones, staff writer for ClevelandBrowns.com, sat down with head coach Mike Pettine and further explored his strategy and what it means to “Play Like a Brown.” Browns strong safety
Mary Kay Cabot, from the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, feels adamant that the Browns would match any offer that the Jaguars make to Mack. Wrapping up the show was Pat Kirwan, from CBSSports.com. He praised the Browns for placing a transition tag on Mack and also addressed their most pressing needs heading into the draft.
Here are some highlights:
Vic Carucci: “To hear (Jimmy) Haslam the other night and hear him talk about the full intention of keeping (Mack) a Brown for a long time, that tells me that that’s been their plan all along. I think (the front office) trusts what they are building and trusts that they are going to be a better football team. If you decide to match, I think it will be done with a lot of thought that has already been poured in to it. Collectively, Haslam, (Ray) Farmer, (Mike) Pettine, (Kyle) Shanahan, and (Alec) Scheiner will come up with more than just a gut feeling as to where Mack’s head is at. This isn’t just any center. This is a really good center, arguably the best in the league. It’s also an offense in transition and the offensive line is playing a critical part of the process. The Browns need this very bright, talented player to lead their offensive line.””
Jim Donovan:“With the older players that the Browns brought in through free agency, you are looking at guys that they want for the now. They want to blend this rookie class with players who can play right away and hopefully win and be the immediate impact. There is no long-term picture here. That’s not how the business model works anymore. If they don’t match and (Mack) gets away and signs with the Jaguars, there is no compensation coming back for him. Most teams around the NFL are very fearful of anyone who has a tag on them. It’s very expensive, but Alex hit on a team that needs some kind of big signing. I thought it was the wearing down of losing that was the discontent with him, but as far as him really wanting to go down to Jacksonville and play, it would be interesting to hear what his reasoning is. Why does he consider that a more promising program than Cleveland? I think he’s a great professional and really does like it here. There is no doubt in my mind that if he comes back, he’s all in. That’s just the way he plays.”
Kevin Jones: “Pettine is open and honest and he told me the way he is going to run practice is like a two-minute drill. How they practice is how they will play, and it’s going to be changing the culture through winning. It’s going to start here in June with changing the mentality of ‘breaking off the rear view mirror.’ There are three parts to playing like a Brown. First, it’s that mentality that needs to be changed. Second, teams like the Browns who are struggling don’t want to be on the field in the fourth quarter. Pettine wants that to be the wheelhouse and he wants his team in the fourth quarter to be ready and relentless. Third, they are bringing in guys who can reinforce his message in the locker room. He’s raved about the free-agent signings and how important it is that they become a branch of him and his message in the locker room. This ‘Play Like a Brown’ strategy he is implementing is becoming his master plan and it feels like it is really working.”
Donte Whitner: “When you show up to work every day, you expect to work as hard as you can and not take short cuts. You expect to win football games on Sunday and that’s what we are expecting to do. We’re working hard now and we are going to work hard this offseason to look forward to the preseason. We have a lot of young, eager, hungry guys and I’m excited to see them play. The teams and individuals who aren’t afraid to get up there and get run over, those are the guys I want on my team. Our plan is simple: we get after the quarterback, we’re physical, we get turnovers, and we win football games. It’s one step at a time. We are just in the belief stage right now, but there is no reason we shouldn’t get to where we want to be.”
Mary Kay Cabot: “The latest I know is that Alex Mack and the Jaguars are still in the process of hammering out the details of the offer sheet. Before he signs that, he is trying to get it exactly the way he wants it, and the Jaguars are trying to work hard to make it a deal that the Browns won’t match. I would anticipate that if they get it the way they want it, it could be signed by tomorrow and at that point, I think the Browns would possibly match it right away. I can’t see any reason that the Browns wouldn’t match it. If Jacksonville can live with the deal, there shouldn’t be any reason why the Browns couldn’t live with it, too. The only difference is that the Browns have a lot of other players they need to pay, so they can risk overpaying. If the Browns overpay too many players, you may run in to some troubles down the road. I’m just not buying that Alex doesn’t want to return to Cleveland.”
Pat Kirwan: “I would match the Jaguars’ offer. All the (Browns’) fans seem to want Alex back and they would recognize not having him back as a disappointment. I’m glad someone finally used a transition tag. If you were to put the franchise tag on Mack, no one would make an offer to him. With the transition tag, the contract could still be in your favor and you could end up locking him up for a couple of years. It’s smart to let the Jaguars do all the negotiating with him. I think more teams should have used their transition tag and I’m not critical one bit of (the Browns) trying to lock him up that way. …I think the Browns have been aggressive and intelligent in free agency. On the offensive side of the ball, you still need a quarterback that will be developed by your coaching staff. (Brian) Hoyer can hold down the fort, but I don’t think he will do more than that. I also wouldn’t rely on (Ben) Tate, so I would draft a running back as well. You have positioned yourself to get (Greg) Little in a backup role, so I would take a good look at a receiver, too. On the defensive side of the ball, I would take Whitner over (T.J.) Ward any day and (Karlos) Dansby and (D’Qwell) Jackson was just a swap out. I would like to see them grab a corner in the draft, also.”