With the Indianapolis Colts needing help along their offensive line this offseason and making that a priority, it was thought by many that Browns center Alex Mack could be a target for the Colts in free agency. Mack opted out of his deal in Cleveland to become a free agent, but he won't be heading to Indianapolis.
Multiple reports this afternoon state that Mack has agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Falcons that will become official once free agency officially begins later today. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports that it is a five-year deal and that the first two years are essentially fully guaranteed, while the third year also has plenty of guarantees. The MMQB's Peter King reports that Mack will average $9.5 million per season on his new deal with the Falcons.
It's a good deal for both sides, as Mack gets paid and he fits in well with the Falcons and their offense. It does mean, however, that the top center is off the market for the Colts. It's clear they need to address the interior of their offensive line - something Chuck Pagano acknowledged as well - and that especially means the center position. The Colts have Jonotthan Harrison and Khaled Holmes at the position, but neither are great options. Many thought the Colts should either go after Mack or one of the top two centers in the draft (Alabama's Ryan Kelly and Notre Dame's Nick Martin), and it's expected the team will add at least one center this year. They still certainly could address the position in the draft or even in free agency, but the top center is off the board.