Safety T.J. Ward could become a free agent on March 11, but the Browns have tried to keep him in Cleveland.
The team, though, chose to apply the transition tag to center Alex Mack and not make Ward the franchise or transition player. That means Ward could be able to test the open market when free agency begins.
Ward can negotiate with the Browns up to and after the start of free agency.
Ward's agent Josh Arnold released a statement this week addressing Ward's status.
“After receiving numerous requests from local and national media outlets, fans, and several others connected to the Cleveland community, we felt it necessary to provide a statement with respect to T.J.'s current contract situation.
“Detailed contract discussions with multiple front office executives of the Browns began last month at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. Since then, several conversations have occurred in an attempt to secure a new deal for T.J., but we've yet to agree on terms that work for both sides.
“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.”
There you have it.