Scrapping their front office wasn't the only important business matter for the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday.
NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Wednesday that the Browns spoke with Joe Haden's representatives Tuesday, according to a source involved in the talks. The sides have been negotiating a long-term contract for the Pro Bowl cornerback.
Despite the regime change, Haden appears to top the Browns' priority list. The team has been molding the star corner into the face of the franchise. Reaching out to his representatives to make sure the ball keeps rolling forward on a day of so much drama underscores that notion.
Haden is entering the final season of his rookie contract, which is set to pay him $6.7 million in 2014.
The 24-year-old is a true No. 1 cornerback who has the ability to mirror an opponent's best receiver when asked. Locking him up long term is key for a unit that finished in the top 10 in overall defense in 2013 and No. 8 against the pass.
During the Pro Bowl, Haden told Around The League that he was excited to work with new coach Mike Pettine, who coached Darrelle Revis with the New York Jets, Haden noted. Now he will want to receive a big contract, like Revis (while Revis makes $16 million per season, Haden likely will be closer to $11-12 million per season).
Many of the best NFL cornerbacks are young and have yet to be paid -- i.e. Haden, Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman. The contract negotiations early this offseason will set the tone for the cornerback market.