Five years after leaving his first home in the NFL after being cut, former Pittsburgh Steelers’ cornerback Joe Haden could be returning to his adopted hometown.
According to Haden’s Instagram stories, the veteran cornerback who has played 12 seasons in the NFL is talking with the Cleveland Browns regarding a reunion, according to a tweet from 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Limberg.
— Andrew Limberg (@AndyLimberg937) June 23, 2022
Haden was the seventh overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns out of the University of Florida and played on the shores of Lake Erie for seven seasons before being cut in a salary cap move in the summer of 2017. During his time in Cleveland, Haden made two Pro Bowls and one Second Team All-Pro list while picking off 19 passes, defending another 101 in his time with the Browns.
After being cut by Cleveland, Haden stayed within the division, landing with the Steelers, where he played five seasons, finishing with 10 interceptions and 54 passes defensed, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2019.
During his time in Pittsburgh, Haden helped solidify a rebuilding secondary on the fly, helping Pittsburgh’s defense take the next step into greatness under head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Keith Butler. After five seasons in Pittsburgh, Haden and his agent both expressed interest in signing a contract extension with the Steelers and finishing his career in the Steel City, but that never came to pass as the Steelers prioritized Ahkello Witherspoon and Levi Wallace in free agency, letting the 33-year-old Haden walk in the open market.
The veteran cornerback saw his overall defensive grades drop in consecutive seasons, according to Pro Football Focus, posting grades of 66.6 in 2020, and 63.4 in 2021.