Not long ago, Joe Haden was a premier corner in the NFL. Just a few years later, the Cleveland Browns are trying to rid themselves of his contract.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the franchise is “aggressively trying to trade” the 28-year-old veteran.
Haden becomes yet another example of how the mighty fall can quickly in the NFL. During the 2014 offseason, he signed a five-year extension worth $67.5 million. Per Spotrac, Haden is due $14.4 million in 2017.
That’s a hefty cap hit for a defender who is simply an average player. It happens to everyone, so Haden’s decline hasn’t been a “shocker” by any stretch. Still, he was an All-Pro corner just four years ago.
Haden has battled injuries over the last two seasons, sometimes (ineffectively) playing through them and appearing in just 18 games anyway.
Shopping Haden is a wise choice for the Browns, who have stockpiled draft capital under the leadership of executive Sashi Brown. However, they’ll likely struggle to find a new home for Haden — who is a liability in press coverage and no longer a sure tackler — without attaching a pick of their own.
Plus, Cleveland is certain to release Haden following the 2017 campaign. According to Spotrac, his dead cap number drops from $10.8 million to $3.2 million next year. If a team is willing to take on Haden’s contract without demanding a draft pick, the Browns would probably make the deal.
There’s simply no guarantee a suitor will emerge.