After 13 stellar NFL seasons, Alex Mack is calling it a career, according to Mike Silver.
This is not a major surprise, given the tenor of the 49ers’ front office discussing Mack’s situation. He got married this offseason (at a castle in Ireland, with the likes of George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk on hand) and has been traveling abroad for months.
The reason this waited until now is that teams can benefit substantially for doing business after June 1, because it allows for cap hits to be pushed back to the following season. And it appears there was a tacit agreement between Mack and the 49ers to delay an official decision until after that window.
In return, both sides received significant benefits.
Per Field Yates of ESPN, Mack restructured his deal to drop his base salary by roughly $4 million this season and about $2 million next season. In return, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the 49ers essentially cut him $500,000 check as something of a retirement gift (and incentive to delay his decision).
The most clear option to replace Mack would be the 31-year-old J.C. Tretter, the longtime Browns center and current Players Association president who was cut this offseason to clear cap space and remains a free agent.
As for Mack’s legacy, it is substantial.
In his 13 seasons, Mack made seven Pro Bowls and was a member of the Hall of Fame’s All-2010s team, alongside Joe Staley.
Given that offensive line positions come without any real stats, it’s tough to gauge Mack’s Hall of Fame chances. But he will certainly be in the conversation.
Using Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value (AV) metric and comparing Mack to five other Hall of Fame centers in Kevin Mawae, Dermontti Dawson, Mike Webster, Jim Langer and Dwight Stephenson, Mack certainly matches up. His 111 AV ranks fourth, with the third-most games played in that group, with 196.
Now, unlike the rest of that group, Mack was never named an AP first-team All-Pro, but was named to the second team three times, and has that All-2010s Team nod to boot.
“When it comes to legacy, anything else, I would like to think that I’m remembered,” Mack told KNBR in November. “But the real takeaway is that is there’s no way you can do that beyond just focusing now and being the best player you can be.”