Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack is happy to be back with the team after what he called "a long offseason."
Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack was a happy man when he returned to the team's Berea training facility to take part in the offseason program under new coach Mike Pettine, and he had plenty of reasons to be.
Mack signed a five-year, $42 million offer sheet with the Jacksonville Jaguars last Friday, and although they had five days to match it, the Browns took less than four hours to bring back their two-time Pro Bowl center.
"It's been a long road, and I'm absolutely happy with where I'm at," Mack said. "I think everything worked out great, and I'm excited to move forward. I'm happy how it's worked out now."
By matching the offer sheet, which contains language that gives Mack $18 million in the first two years of the contract and the right to opt out without being given the transition or franchise tags after the 2015 season, the Browns made him the highest-paid center in the NFL.
"I would say yes (I'm proud of that)," Mack said. "I'm excited about that. I work hard, and I'm going to continue to do that. It's exciting and I'm happy.
"I'm primarily a player, and I have an agent to do some of the other stuff. When it comes out, it's positioning. Business is business, and all I can say is that I'm happy to be here. I'm excited to be here and I'm ready to get back to work."
During the offseason, it was rumored that Mack wanted out of Cleveland because of the turnover within the front office and on the sidelines in his time with the team.
In his five years with the club, the 2009 first-round pick of the Browns has played for three different head coaches -- Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur and Rob Chudzinski -- four offensive coordinators and two different owners.
"Absolutely, you don't want to see change and turnover," Mack said. "There's a lot going on. (Owner) Jimmy Haslam did a great job of taking a lot of heat and changing around the building and making some moves, but it shows that he cares. It shows that he's ready to take some heat to make the decisions he thinks he needs to make. That's exciting. That's a good way to look at things."
Mack said having Haslam, Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Andy Moeller, the offensive line coach, fly out to his hometown in California in order to recruit him made a positive impression.
"It was a really good trip," Mack said. "They came out and it meant a lot to me to have them all show up and bring a strong front. That was an exciting time and I was excited about where this building was going, but there was still business to be handled.
"I think we have a really good core group of guys. I think we have a lot of talent on this team, and it was exciting to think about coming here and seeing where we could go from there. We had a good group of guys last year, a lot of real tight games. To think about how close you were and build upon that into this year, I'm excited."