Former Browns OL says ‘Alex Mack isn’t worth that much money’

Pro Bowl center or not, Ross Tucker says Alex Mack isn't worth the cash that the Jaguars and Browns are reportedly willing to pay him.

Kyle Terada/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Mack is about to become the highest paid center in the NFL.

But is he worth the money? According to one former Browns player, the answer is "no."

"The Jacksonville Jaguars are making a mistake," said Ross Tucker, a former NFL offensive lineman and current analyst. "Alex Mack isn’t worth this much money … no matter who gives it to him."

In a recent column for Sporting News, Tucker said that he was surprised any team gave Mack an offer sheet and that it would be foolish for the Browns not to match it.

According to FOX Sports Senior NFL Reporter Mike Garafolo, the Jaguars and Mack have agreed in principle on a five-year, $42 million deal, and an offer sheet is likely to be signed Friday.

The Browns, who gave Mack the transition tag last month, will have five days to match the Jaguars, once the offer sheet is officially signed.

Regardless of which team ends up actually signing Mack, it’s a lot of money to shell out for a center — twenty-five percent more than Carolina’s Ryan Kalil, who currently leads the way at $8 million per season.

So why the hate?

Tucker says it’s nothing personal — he actually agrees that Mack is the best center in the NFL — he just doesn’t think the position is worth that kind of cash.

"The center position is not worth the close to $10 million a year that Mack will reportedly command over the first three years of this deal, whether he plays in Jacksonville or Cleveland. It’s just not. It’s not a difference-making position that has a huge impact on wins and losses.

I would know. I played the position. In fact, at different points in my career I saw time at all five offensive line positions, including at least four regular season starts at all three interior positions. I always thought the center position was the easiest one in which to succeed.

I’m thrilled for him and his family that he is going to get this much money to play, no matter which team it is from. I believe he’s exactly the type of player and person whom an organization would want to invest in for the long term."

Tucker admits that it makes sense for a team like the Browns to put so much value into Mack’s leadership skills and that it would help in bringing along a young quarterback — something they’ll surely have to address in this year’s draft.

But no matter which team Mack ends up with, he’s obviously a guy they’re willing to break the bank for. "Even if he’s not worth it."

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