NFL.com – The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t waste any time pulling Joe Haden off the free-agent market.
Hours after he was released by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday, the two-time Pro Bowlcornerback signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Steelers, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Haden is guaranteed to make $7 million in the first year of his new contract — which ironically was the same amount Cleveland was seeking to pay him before cutting him, Rapoport reported. The Steelers later made the deal official.
ESPN first reported the development. The Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts were among the teams that were interested in potentially signing Haden before the Steelers ended his brief free-agency foray, Rapoport reported.
Haden, 28, reached the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014. The 2010 first-round pick signed a six-year, $74.678 million deal in 2014 but has struggled to find consistency in the years since. Haden has played in just 18 games since 2014, with three interceptions and 13 pass breakups in those two years.
This take will probably fall within the cooler side of things, but here it is anyways: I think this is one of those deals where both parties involved made out very, very well.
You see, bringing in a guy like Joe Haden immediately improves the Steelers’ secondary whether or not the former Pro Bowl cornerback has lost a step. Just about anyone’s an upgrade over William Gay, Coty Sensabaugh, and Ross Cockrell. So why not take a chance at a guy who was arguably one of the top-5 shutdown cornerbacks in football a mere 3-4 years ago and pair him with a young up-and-comer like Artie Burns? Besides, if the Steelers want to get over the hump and make it back to another Super Bowl with this current group intact, improving the secondary is a priority (CC: 2017 AFC Championship Game vs the Patriots).
And as for the Steelers, $27 million sounds like a lot initially, but let’s be honest here – the Steelers are basically giving Haden a one-year deal worth $7 million. If he plays well, they’ll continue paying him. And if not, he’ll be gone after a year, and the Steelers won’t be on the hook for paying him the remaining $20 million. It’s a relatively low-risk for a potentially high-reward. Can’t hate that.
P.S. – Will someone please check on Mary Kay? I’m afraid she may be drunk.
P.P.S. – I’m not sure if the fine folks out in Indianapolis, Indiana have access to high speed internet or not. Someone may wanna fill them in on the news.