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Alex Mack Voids Final 3 Years of Browns Contract

Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack stands on the sideline during an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Browns, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. The Steelers won 28-12. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press
Mike NorrisChief Writer IIIJanuary 3, 2017

Three-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack has spent his entire seven-year NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, but 2015 could mark his last season with the team, as he's decided to opt out of the final three years of his current deal, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports confirmed the news and noted a return to Cleveland is still possible for Mack.

Tom Withers of the Associated Press noted on Feb. 22 that the last time he spoke to Mack, the center said staying in Cleveland was a "strong possibility."

"My friends are here," Mack said, per Withers. "My house is here."

Former Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson was hired for the same job in Cleveland, but there's a lot of work to do for a franchise that's finished with a losing record the past eight seasons.

As the 30-year-old Mack enters the latter part of his career, he may want to join a contending team. The Browns, who have a new coach, no clear starting quarterback, a struggling defense and no recent history of winning, don't have much to offer other than the fact that they're the only team to ever employ Mack.

The NFL is a business, and like any other, those involved are always trying to get the best deal. Returning to Cleveland doesn't appear to provide that for Mack, meaning the chances are high he lands with a new team for the 2016 season.

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