For former Steelers Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, the free agency whirlwind of 2022 has thus far been cold to him, as the market for the 33-year old has been scarce thus far. Recently he hinted at a potential reunion with the Browns, the team who originally drafted him seventh overall back in the 2010. However, at this stage of his career, winning is likely the driving factor in any decision that he makes, and after tasting success and the tremendous culture in Pittsburgh the last few years, why would he go back to the circus that currently exists in Cleveland?
There is a new team on the horizon presently being floated as a potential destination for Haden, and they have not one but three Pro Bowl stars who are clamoring for his services. Stefon Diggs, the Buffalo Bills’ standout receiver, took notice to a video Haden posted to his Instagram of him working out on UCLA’s campus facilities, and even went as far as to tag the Buffalo Bills account to the video. Diggs has reportedly been working out alongside Haden, a close friend, throughout the offseason and would like the team to look into his services. If the standout receiver is asking his team to sign Haden, does it signal that Haden has more left in the tank than the rest of his potential suitors may realize?
Star pass-rusher Von Miller, the crown jewel of the Bills’ free agency signings who put the pen-to-paper for a $120 million deal, is also pounding the table for the front office to make a move for Haden, citing back in April that he and Haden “definitely talked about him coming here.” Even an old running mate from his Cleveland days, star safety Jordan Poyer, has also been on-record saying he’s been attempting to get Haden to sign there.
Haden missed five games last season due to injury, but other than that was a very steady contributor to the banner defense the Steelers have fielded over the last few seasons, after being signed mere hours after being released by the Browns late in the summer of 2017. His finest season with the team was in 2019, when he made the Pro Bowl once again after intercepting five passes.
If Buffalo were to make a move for him, the move would make sense on many different fronts. The team’s number one corner, All-Pro Tre’Davious White, is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in last season’s Thanksgiving game versus New Orleans. The team also invested their first-round pick in Kaiir Elam, the standout cornerback from Florida. However, the team lost its number two cornerback, Levi Wallace, earlier this offseason to none other than the Steelers, who inked him to a two-year deal. With White’s status up in the air for the opener, this would seem to leave their secondary very thin, especially for a team that’s widely floated as a Super Bowl frontrunner for next season.