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Alex Mack: “I was ready to be a Jaguar”

Falcons center Alex Mack says he wanted to be in Jacksonville.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-Opening Night Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

During media interviews leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl, Falcons center Alex Mack was asked about the free agent contract he signed with the Jaguars back in the 2014 offseason.

“I was ready to be Jaguar,” Mack said Wednesday morning.

“The Jaguars stepped up to see if they could get a deal done and that was really a great thing for me,” Mack said. “They were a high-class organization. They flew me down, recruited me and I signed with them – it was a matter of hours to whether Cleveland would match or not.”

Mack was given the transition tag by the Cleveland Browns, which meant they would have the right to match any offer he received in free agency. The Jaguars signed Mack to a five year deal worth $42 million, but the Browns quickly matched it, keeping Mack in Cleveland. However, the contract that the Jaguars drew up also included a clause that Mack could opt-out after two years, and once again become a free agent. Mack decided to opt-out of his contract, and became a free agent this past March, but the Jaguars chose not to go after him again.

Many people argued that the Jaguars should have gone after Mack once more, feeling that their previous contract could make them the front-runner in Mack’s mind. According to Mack’s quotes, that certainly seems like it may have been the case. You can read the rest of the article by Ryan O’Halloran here. It includes additional quotes from Mack, as well as quotes from Dave Caldwell as to why they didn't pursue him again in 2016.

This seems like a complete mishandling of a situation, and one of the biggest reasons a GM would get put in timeout, like Dave Caldwell did when the Jaguars hired Tom Coughlin as EVP of Football Operations. What do you think? Should the Jaguars have gone after Alex Mack a second time?