A source close to Mack has told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that the two-time Pro Bowl player was set to fly the coop after bad feelings had built up with the old front office. The Browns didn't approach Mack with an offer last offseason and made what he believed to be a "cursory effort" during the 2013 season.
Mack still will test free agency, but the new regime is more interested in retaining him. Owner Jimmy Haslam is a "big fan," per Rapoport.
Little's situation is slightly different.
With a new coaching staff and general manager in place, the jury is no longer handing the judge a rope.
The Browns lack depth at the position and Little is set to draw less than $800,000 in salary. It makes sense to give the enigmatic receiver another shot to make good on his once promising run-after-catch skills.
During an offseason described by Marc Sessler as a "constantly churning clown car," this news should put a bounce in the step of Browns fans. As two of the best at their respective positions, Mack and Ward are nucleus players this organization cannot afford to lose while building toward playoff contention.