Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden has enjoyed a very successful NFL career. He was selected seventh overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft and spent the first seven years of his career there. After his performance began to slip a bit in Cleveland, they released him alongside his massive contract.
It ended up becoming a blessing in disguise for Haden, not the Browns, as he signed with an AFC North rival in the Steelers. Now, five years later, Pittsburgh has become a second home. He became one of former GM Kevin Colbert’s better signings of the last decade. In five seasons, he played in 70 games and helped at a position of dire need. Haden led the Steelers to two playoff appearances and made the Pro Bowl in 2019.
Now 33 years old, the Steelers and Haden have gone their separate ways over the off-season. Pittsburgh elected to go with a few younger options, bringing back Ahkello Witherspoon and signing Levi Wallace from Buffalo. As the calendar is set to flip to July here in a week, Haden remains a free agent. On Wednesday, he posted this cryptic photo to his Instagram story:
It’s pure speculation at this point, but perhaps a reunion with the Browns is coming? It’s hard to imagine Haden would get much playing time in Cleveland, as they have their own plethora of young guys on the outside. Beyond their star, lockdown No. 1 in Denzel Ward, they have 2021 first-rounder Greg Newsome and 2022 third-rounder Martin Emerson. That’s without mentioning Greedy Williams, who started eight games on the perimeter for the Browns last season. Perhaps a fit doesn’t make sense, but a veteran presence like Haden would only help those young corners.
Again, this is pure speculation. Maybe Haden is just reminiscing on his playing days in Cleveland. Maybe he’s just trolling everyone and knew it would draw a reaction. For Haden, perhaps a team waits until after roster cuts to potentially sign him. If one of the Steelers primary cornerbacks faced a severe injury, Joe Haden would likely be the front office’s first call if he’s still available.
Yinz, what would you think if Haden returned to Cleveland? Do you wish the Steelers would have (and possibly still should) brought him back? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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