The Cleveland Browns chose not to apply the franchise tag on veteran safety T.J. Ward and pinned the transition tag on center Alex Mack rather than using it on Ward.
This means Ward will become eligible to sign with whatever team he chooses when free agency opens next week.
The Browns, of course, can continue negotiate with him and they would like to get a deal done.
On Wednesday, Ward’s agent, Josh Arnold issued a statement.
“T.J. has proven himself to be not only an elite NFL safety, but an elite and top NFL player league wide, which is evidenced by him earning both All Pro and Pro Bowl recognition this past season. With the passing of the franchise/transition tag deadline, we remain open to further discussions with the Browns in working towards a long-term deal and look forward to that possibility.
“However, if things don’t work out in Cleveland, we likewise look forward to the opportunity that can coincide with becoming an unrestricted free agent. Several factors will be considered before making a final decision that will provide best for T.J. and his family.”
You can read the complete statement here.
Ward had 112 tackles and two interceptions for the Browns last season.