- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - The agent for Browns free agent safety T.J. Ward says the Pro Bowler remains hopeful of signing a long-term deal with the team.

Ward is eligible to hit the open market next week. His agent, Josh Arnold, said in a statement Tuesday that he began “detailed contract discussions” with “multiple” Browns executives at the NFL combine in Indianapolis last month and that the talks have continued. However, the sides have not yet reached an agreement.

Ward is coming off his best season as a pro. On Monday, the Browns placed their transition tag on center Alex Mack and not Ward, who started all 16 games and made a career-high 129 tackles with two interceptions last season.

Arnold said he and Ward “remain open to further discussions with the Browns.”

The Browns drafted Ward in the second round in 2010.