Browns Owner Talks Draft, Haden, Parcells

With a new GM (Ray Farmer) and head coach (Mike Pettine) in place in Cleveland, this year’s group of decision-makers looks significant different than the group that selected Barkevious Mingo sixth overall a year ago. One constant though is owner Jimmy Haslam, who spoke to Mary Kay Cabot of and other Browns beat writers last week about the importance of this offseason and the draft for the franchise, and his long-term outlook for the team.

Here are a few notable quotes from the Browns owner:

On whether there’s a scenario in which he’d overrule Farmer or Pettine on a draft decision:

“Zero chance. We will have so many conversations between now and the draft about who we’re picking. Are we picking this position or that position? Who are the top three or four guys? We will be well planned out, so that, ‘Hey, here’s plan A. But if plan A doesn’t work, here’s plan B, and here’s plan C. That’s what getting ready is all about. That’s what Ray and his group are focused on, and we’ll all participate. Mike will play a key role in that, too.”

On whether the team might use the No. 4 overall pick on a non-quarterback:

“Yeah, I don’’t think we’re’ compelled to pick a quarterback at No. 4. We don’’t know that yet. The draft is May 8, so it’’s still six, seven weeks, and Ray and his team and Pett and his team have a lot of work to do between now and then.””

On the importance of the 2014 draft for the Browns:

“We have three of the top 35 picks and 10 overall, so it’s exceptionally important that we do a good job in the draft and I think we’ve said that for the last year and this is an important free agency. We’ll know this time next year, but I think we feel good about the moves we’ve made in free agency.”

On potentially extending the contract of cornerback Joe Haden:

“Joe’s very important to the franchise and people forget, Joe’s only 24 years old, because he got out of high school a little early, got out of college three straight years and he’s very important to the franchise, and going forward we want to sign our really good players early if possible and Joe certainly exemplifies that.”

On whether he has an open line of communication with Bill Parcells:

“Yeah, but Bill’s not going to come work for us, okay? I know that’s what everyone’s angling at, but there’s other people that we talk to too who are knowledgeable in football that will share that too. Somehow the Parcells information just happened to hit the radar screen.”

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