Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make any contract terminations in the next few days? They could and especially with them currently being littles less than $6 million under the salary cap. While the jury is still out on if the Steelers will part ways with inside linebacker Vince Williams in the coming days, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is pretty sure that veteran cornerback Joe Haden won’t be going anywhere in the coming days or weeks.
“The most curious move is what to do with cornerback Joe Haden, who is scheduled to count $15.575 million against the cap this season — the second largest hit behind [Ben] Roethlisberger’s new number ($25.9 million),” Dulac wrote. “Haden is in the final year of his contract, so the Steelers have two options — release him, which they don’t want to do; or sign him to a new deal similar to what they did with Roethlisberger.
“Haden will be 32 in April and enters his 12th season in the league, but he has at least one more good season in him and possibly two. He is not only their best corner, he is the leader of the secondary, their emotional glue.”
That certainly makes sense and even Haden stated recently that he doesn’t expect to be cut despite speculation to the contrary. Sure, Haden has a high salary cap number in 2021 of $15.575 million but that’s not his fault as the Steelers chose to restructure him last offseason as part their effort to get cap compliant. In fact, Haden is scheduled to make just $7 million in 2021 and that’s certainly not as lot for the kind of player he still seems to be.
So, what about Dulac saying that the Steelers might could sign Haden to a full voidable extension like Roethlisberger signed to lower his 2021 salary cap charge? While the Steelers could certainly see if Haden would be willing to go that route, don’t expect the veteran to take a pay cut like Roethlisberger did.
On top of that, a four-year extension for Haden with all voidable years past 2021 would clear just $4.74 million in 2021 salary cap space. That’s a lot, sure, but at the same time, it would produce $4.74 million in dead money for 2022 should the contract void right after the 2021 season like Roethlisberger’s does.
Do I think Haden will or should be cut? Hell no. That said, I’m not so sure we’ll see him extended with four voidable years as Dulac and John Clayton have both recently suggested. It hasn’t happened yet and with just a few days left to get such an extension done prior to the start of the new league year, it doesn’t look like it will happen.