Flowery Branch - The Atlanta Falcons took an aggressive approach to the start of free agency on Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a five-year, $47.5 million contract with three-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack.
The deal makes the longtime Cleveland Browns starter the NFL's highest-paid center, with an average salary of $9.5 million.
The Falcons also reached an agreement with quarterback Matt Schaub, who will be returning to the city where he launched his NFL career.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he believes Mack will improve an offensive line that has struggled in recent years.
Quinn said he was won over by his study of Mack's work, including "the consistency each week in his performance. ... He is completely dialed in on the technique."
The Falcons head coach said the Falcons are also in hot pursuit of free agent wide receiver Mohamed Sanu who played with the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Sanu is said to be seeking a $7 million yearly salary. The Falcons appear to be the leading candidate, but the 26-year-old Sanu is considering other offers as well.