The Cleveland Browns see re-signing center Alex Mack as “priority No. 1,” as they should, but that should not keep the New York Giants from pursuing the All-Pro offensive lineman if they have the chance.
The offensive line is currently the Giants’ most glaring weakness. It was largely responsible for the offense’s struggles and kept quarterback Eli Manning out of sync with his wide receivers for the duration of the season. As a result, New York missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. It’s time for a change.
The Giants may be set at the time being at the tackle positions, but nothing is locked up at the three interior line positions and center is the team’s greatest need. Mack would solve that problem instantly.
The 28-year-old is just now entering the prime of his career coming off his second Pro Bowl selection. He’s a big hog at 6-foot-3, 311 pounds, and is almost unanimously the NFL’s best center. He is cover32’s second-ranked free-agent offensive lineman this winter, pitted behind the Kansas Chiefs’ Branden Albert.
The Giants could be stuck with current center David Baas for the 2014 season due to the cap hit they would take for cutting him. However, that should not scare the Giants away from pursuing a player of Mack’s caliber for the benefit of their long-term success.
Mack is a promising young star in this league that can become an instant anchor for the Giants’ lackluster offensive line, helping to secure the once-dependable unit again. In the meantime, they could shift Baas to one of the guard slots and kill two birds with one stone—who knows, maybe the 32-year-old lineman would benefit from a reassignment.