Centerpiece: Browns place transition tag on Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, S Ward a free agent

The Browns have locked free agent Pro Bowl center Alex Mack into a one-year, $10.039 million contract.

By using the transition tag, Cleveland will have five days to match any offer to Mack by other teams. If the Browns had used their franchise tag on Mack, he would have made $11.654 million next season.

The decision also means Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward is now a free agent.

Mack has been one of the Browns' best and most dependable players since they drafted him in the first round in 2009. He has not missed one offensive play in five years, a run of 4,998 consecutive snaps.

The Browns would like to sign Mack to a long-term contract.