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2016 NFL Free Agency: C Alex Mack And The Jacksonville Jaguars, A Match Made In Heaven

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The NFL Free Agency period is heating up. Teams are going over statistics, crunching numbers, and calling agents in hopes of signing a difference maker for their team.

One of the top free agents on the market is Alex Mack, who is looking to test the unrestricted market for the first time.

As you might remember, Mack was given the seldom used transition tag by the Cleveland Browns during the 2014 offseason, that gave Cleveland the opportunity to match any offer Mack signs with another team.

Mack decided to sign a five-year $42 million dollar deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which Cleveland had to match or they would lose the All-Pro center.

The language of the contract was in depth. It gave Mack the option of voiding the final three years of the deal. Jacksonville hoped that the contract stipulations would prevent the Browns from signing Mack away from them.

Well, Cleveland did indeed match the offer, and for the last two seasons, Mack has established himself as one of the NFL’s premier centers.

However, after his two years Mack decided to do exactly what the Browns had feared, void the final three years of his contract to become a free agent.

The Browns might not be able to get Mack back this time, as there will be many suitors for the Pro Bowler, and they can’t match any offer.

One of those teams might be the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are looking to obtain the coveted center that slipped through their hands two years ago.

The Jaguars are in desperate need of offensive line help as Blake Bortles was sacked 51 times last season, the most of all NFL quarterbacks. Jacksonville needs to make huge strides in providing him with the necessary lineman to prevent the high number of sacks. And Mack is the ideal candidate for that role.

Current center, Stefen Wisniewski had an up and down year for Jacksonville. And while he was a solid contributor for the team, he doesn’t have the pedigree of Mack. After all, had the team signed Mack two years ago, Wisniewski wouldn’t be the starting center for the team anyway.

Simply put, Mack is one of the best centers in the NFL. ESPN Stats tweeted out a statistic that showcased Mack’s value to the Browns, and what could be a huge upgrade to T.J. Yeldon and the rest of the Jaguars rushing attack.

During the 2014-15 season, when Mack was on the field the Cleveland running game produced 4.7 yards per rush on 157 rushes up the middle. However, when Mack wasn’t on the field the team only rushed for 3.5 yards up the middle on 98 rushes.

That should show the value of Alex Mack, whom could become the highest paid center in the NFL. He would have an impact on any team he signs with, and the Jaguars have a legitimate shot at acquiring him because of their past history.

Approaching the age of 31, Alex Mack wants to play for a contender.  It’s obvious Cleveland won’t be able to offer that in the coming years. Jacksonville has an emerging offense, and are building a solid defensive unit. The Jaguars could compete for a playoff spot in as little as two years (especially in their division).

It makes a lot of sense for Mack to try again with Jacksonville, and this time the Jaguars intend to keep him for good.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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