Report | Steelers to sign Joe Haden

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: Cleveland Browns Cornerback Joe Haden (23) lines up during the third quarter of the NFL game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on October 30, 2016, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. New York defeated Cleveland 31-28. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

It didn’t take long for cornerback Joe Haden, who was released by the Cleveland Browns Wednesday morning, to reportedly find a new team. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to sign Haden to a three-year deal worth $27 million.

According to the report, Haden will make $7 million in the first year of the deal. News of Haden’s signing came hours after Drew Rosenhaus, his agent, said that the cornerback would have a new team by Thursday afternoon.

Given the fact that Haden has spent his entire NFL career in the same division as the Steelers, there’s familiarity on both sides of the agreement. Selected seventh overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, Haden was healthy for much of his first five seasons with the Browns. Haden played in 15 games or more in four of those season, with the lone exception being the 2012 campaign.

Haden only played in 11 games that season but not for health reasons, as he served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Haden bounced back from that 2012 season by earning trips to the Pro Bowl in both 2013 and 2014.

Haden played in just five games in 2015 due to a concussion, and he would return to play in 13 games last season. As Haden entered the 2017 season with a cap number of $14.4 million, the Browns’ reported decision to look for a trade partner did not come as a surprise. Cleveland was unable to find a team willing to make a deal, which led to the decision to release him Wednesday.

In Pittsburgh, Joe Haden will join a cornerback group that currently has eight players with three or fewer years of NFL experience. The most experienced cornerback on the roster is William Gay, who’s entering his 11th season.

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