If the Pittsburgh Steelers want to sign Joe Haden – and they do – they’ll have the first crack at him. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Haden is visiting with the Steelers first and that will happen in Charlotte, NC, where the team is currently about to land ahead of their Thursday night game against the Carolina Panthers.
#Steelers get the first & potentially only visit from FA Joe Haden. They can make sure he never leaves (except to get his things from CLE).
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2017
Steelers scheduled to land in Charlotte in a few hours. Both @RapSheet and I are told Joe Haden expected to meet them there.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 30, 2017
The Steelers have been linked to Haden since it was reported the Cleveland Browns were dangling him for a trade. With his hefty contract out of the way, the biggest hurdle to acquiring him has been clear.
Pittsburgh has made it no secret they’re unhappy with their cornerback play opposite Artie Burns and have looked to upgrade. They’ve rotated starters, traded for Dashaun Phillips, and now are looking to add Haden, who would start in place of Ross Cockrell/Coty Sensabaugh/the scarecrow Mike Tomlin picks up during Halloween.
Far from the only team to have interest, it’s been reported up to 12 teams are inquiring about Haden. The San Francisco 49ers are another team courting Haden with GM John Lynch saying they’ve looked into adding him.
No announcement can be made until after 4 PM/ET, when Haden’s release from the Browns becomes official. But I have a strong feeling Haden will become a Steeler shortly thereafter.
As always, look for a full breakdown on him later tonight on Steelers Depot.