Per ESPN Cleveland:
I’m getting a sense that the Browns might be contemplating using the franchise tag on Ward.
Ward, assuming he made it to free agency, would likely be the top safety on the market – or at least number two behind fellow potential free agent Jairus Byrd.
The former Oregon Duck is very good against the pass, though, excels against the run as he ranked out as the top overall run stopping safety according to Pro Football Focus this past season.
Ward has already stated that he is open to remaining in Cleveland, so it’s doubtful he’ll be too bent out of shape over a potential franchise tag considering he’d become one of the highest paid safeties in the league.
There’s currently no word on a potential contract extension.