Steelers emerge as favorite to sign Joe Haden.
The Cleveland Browns released former first round pick, Joe Haden this morning and now reports are surfacing that the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers are the favorites to land the 28-year old defensive back.
According to ESPN, Haden is not subject to waivers and will be free to sign with a team starting at 4pm ET today. While the Steelers are the front runners to sign Haden, multiple teams including the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys are also interested in his services.
Steelers are the favorite to land former Browns CB Joe Haden.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2017
There's sentiment in t/bldg that they feel this way at this hr. A text from w/i Haden camp, "That would be a great fit. I love Mike Tomlin." https://t.co/Jy5PVz9GH0— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 30, 2017
ESPN reports that Haden was due to make just $1.1 million this upcoming season, but $11.2 million and $10.4 million in 2018 and '19, respectively. The team approached Haden about taking a paycut and when he declined they attempted to trade him. Unable to find a trade partner, the Browns released him today.
The Browns will still be on the hook for some of that money though, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapaport.
Joe Haden is getting $4M guaranteed from #Browns — with offsets. If he settles in at less than $4M, new team pays him minimum, CLE pays rest— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2017
What does that mean? Suddenly, Joe Haden could play for any championship-level team for a bargain while still making his $4M from #Browns— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2017
Haden's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed that several teams are looking to sign his client, and has said that he'll have a new deal in no time.
"Tons of interest in him," Haden's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told Schefter. "He will have a new deal with another team by tomorrow afternoon."
Joe Haden made the Pro Bowl in 2014 but was plagued by injuries in his last two seasons, missing 11 games in 2015 and another three games last season. He was drafted seventh overall by the Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft and has spent his entire career with the organization.
He released the following statement via social media after being released today.