Owner Jimmy Haslam said today the Browns will have a quarterback competition this year, meaning the organization will likely acquire someone to square off against incumbent starter Brandon Weeden in the offseason.

Last week during offensive coordinator Norv Turner's introductory news conference, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said it's "premature" to label Weeden as the team's starting quarterback for the 2013 season.

Haslam reaffirmed the new regime's stance while attending a news conference in New Orleans that recognized Browns left tackle Joe Thomas and the other finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of Year Award. The winner will be announced Saturday night during the NFL Honors, which will air on CBS from 9-11 p.m. Saturday.

"I think Norv and Chud have been very open that they like a lot of what Brandon [Weeden] does," Haslam told reporters today at the news conference. "But we're going to have competition at that position. And I think competition makes us all better, and we'll see where that competition comes from."

It could come from a signing in free agency, a trade or a draft pick. Haslam said Mike Lombardi, the team's vice president of player personnel, CEO Joe Banner and the coaching staff are in the process of examining this year's crop of free agents. Free agency begins at 4 p.m. March 12.

"They're studying," Haslam said. "I think we have a pretty good feel for what our needs are. They're going to look at free agency and they're going to look at the draft. I think we'll be selective in what we do in free agency but if there's some talent out there that matches our needs and it's at the right dollar level, then I think we'll probably make some moves. I don't think you'll see us make any big, splashy high-priced moves because I think we've said all along we're going to build through the draft."

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith could be traded or released in the offseason. After suffering a concussion, Smith lost his starting job this season to Colin Kaepernick. Smith played for Turner in 2006, when Turner served as the offensive coordinator of the 49ers before becoming the head coach of the San Diego Chargers.