The Browns have been in contact with the agent of Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, a league source told the Beacon Journal today.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Munnerlyn is set to hit the open market when free agency begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Not only are the Browns looking for a cornerback who can start opposite Joe Haden, but they also need a nickel corner after cutting Dimitri Patterson in December. Munnerlyn, 24, has excelled while covering slot receivers in the nickel role.

Last season, Munnerlyn started 11 of the 16 games in which he appeared and compiled 61 tackles, nine passes defensed and two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns. In 2011, he started all 14 games in which he appeared.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski served as the offensive coordinator of the Panthers during the past two seasons, so he knows the 5-8, 190-pound Munnerlyn.

Last week, Munnerlyn told the Charlotte Observer he would like to re-sign with the Panthers, but he also left the door open for a departure.