Posted March 3, 2014 03:41 pm - Updated March 3, 2014 03:42 pm

Cleveland puts transition tag on Alex Mack

Per reports from ESPN and, the Cleveland Browns have decided to place the transition tag on center Alex Mack just ahead of today’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Mack was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 11 and would have been the top center on the market.

Had he hit the market, it is believed the Jaguars – looking to replace the retired Brad Meester – would have tried to get Mack. Now, they could shift their focus to signing a guard in free agency.

The transition tag is based on the average  of the top 10 highest-paid players at a position – for offensive linemen, that’s $10.039 million, which is fully guaranteed once the player signs the tender.

For the transition tag, the Browns have the right to match any contract offer from another team for Mack, but would receive no compensation.

A bold move for the cap-flushed Jaguars would be to offer Mack a contract the Browns would be loathe to match.

The franchise tag – which includes right-to-match and draft-pick compensation – would have cost the Browns $11.654 million.