The Cleveland Browns deemed veteran cornerback Joe Haden not worthy of his $11 million-plus salary he was scheduled to make in 2017 and after failing to trade him, they cut him on Wednesday.
Haden, who has dealt with injuries the last few seasons, is now free to sign with any team he chooses later this afternoon and as you can probably imagine, several fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping the team pursues him.
If you believe a few major media reporters, the Steelers are one of several teams right now interested in signing Haden, a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round draft pick. Haden is 28-years-old and figures to get a lot of interest from several different teams right away.
Haden’s contract with the Browns included a $4 million offset in the language of it and thus should the cornerback ultimately sign with another team for less than than amount, Cleveland will have to pay the rest.
While Haden’s quality of play has diminished over the course of the last few seasons, one has to think a few teams still might be interested in paying him more than the veteran minimum. If money isn’t an issue for the cornerback, however, he could choose to play for a contender at a lower price.
With the start of the 2017 NFL season now right around the corner, we should find out very quickly where Haden will call his new home within 24 hours from now. Will it be Pittsburgh? We’ll see. The Steelers are obviously not very happy with their cornerback situation right now as Ross Cockrell and Coty Sensabaugh are both currently battling for the starting spot opposite Artie Burns. Additionally, while rookie draft pick Cameron Sutton showed some promise in his NFL debut this past Saturday, he likely still needs some development.
The Steelers also have veteran cornerback William Gay slated to be their starting slot defender to open the 2017 regular season and former undrafted free agent Mike Hilton has made a strong push for a roster spot throughout the entire offseason.