New Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden said in an interview with Missi Matthews that he had offers from several other teams, but decided to sign with the AFC North franchise because “it just felt right.” Haden named the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins as three teams that made offers.
Haden: “It just felt right." pic.twitter.com/Ggn3HKdBbR
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 31, 2017
The 28-year-old Haden was cut by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday after they could not find a willing trade partner for the two-time Pro Bowler. It was a cost-cutting move for the Browns, as Haden was due to be paid $11.1 million of his five-year, $67.5 million extension he signed with Cleveland back in 2014.
Haden, who played his collegiate football at the University of Florida, was originally selected by the Browns with the seventh overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.
He made an immediate impact during his rookie campaign, racking up 57 total tackles, one sack, six interceptions, one forced fumble and 18 pass defenses. After two more solid years, Haden proceeded to make his first Pro Bowl during his fourth season after registering 54 total tackles, four picks, 20 pass defenses and one defensive touchdown. The Fort Washington, Maryland native then made his second straight Pro Bowl in 2014 thanks to compiling 73 total tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 20 pass defenses. Injuries limited Haden to just five games in 2015, and last season, he tallied 48 total stops, three picks and 11 pass defenses across 13 contests.
“We had Oakland, the Cowboys and New Orleans then Miami. Those were the other ones,” Haden told reporters, via NFL.com. “It just felt like a fit for me. Coach [Mike] Tomlin, ever since the pro day when he came out to Florida and was talking to us. He worked us all out, that was cool. Then every time we play against the Steelers I talk to coach Tomlin — every time. They were super interested in me and I just felt like once I was free I wanted to have a chance to be able to play in some meaningful games. I know they don’t really miss the playoffs so I’m like, I just want to be a part of something where I could play in the playoffs.”