Ward, who along with the Bills S Jairus Byrd, are both in line to secure huge contracts on the open market, unless their respective teams elect to use their franchise tags to prevent them from reaching free agency.
However, Mary Kay Cabot mentioned on Saturday that she does not believe the Browns will use the franchise tag on Ward based on the fact that it will cost them a large guaranteed salary to do so.
Instead, Cabot believes the Browns could try to work out a long-term deal in the weeks leading up to free agency or try to match a deal he receives on the open market.
Cleveland could always elect to use their franchise tag on Pro Bowl C Alex Mack, but that too comes with a huge price.
Ward is a hard hitting safety that excelled against the run and was named as a second team All-Pro safety while also making the Pro Bowl this season. He has previously expressed interest in remaining in Cleveland, so we’ll have to see how the Browns handle this situation in the next few weeks.
We have Ward listed as the No. 3 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.