Today the Browns cut former pro bowler Joe Haden and his fat daddy contract. He isn't subject to waivers so he's free to sign with any team who pays him dat money at 4pmET today. The favorites to land the talented corner back and former 7th overall pick are the Pittsburgh Steelers. Should I be worried??
I'm actually shocked the Browns weren't able to swing a trade for this kid. They announced yesterday they were looking to shop him and today he's cut. He went to the pro bowl in 2014 and he's only 28 years old. You can't get a mid round pick for that?! We just traded a 7th round pick for Marquis Flowers who couldn't find the pro bowl on a map of Hawaii if you paid him to.
As with my lack of romantic prospects, I'm sure it came down to money. Haden was due $11.1 million this season, $11.2 million next season, and $10.4 million in 2019. Apparently no team was willing to take on that kind of deal. At the very least, potential suitors were probably asking the Browns to take a huge chunk of that contract, which clearly Tanksville, USA didnt want to do. Cutting Haden only cost them $3.2 mil against their cap.
Another concern is injuries. Haden missed 11 games in 2015 after his pro bowl season with a finger injury. Then he missed 3 games last year, but had two groin injuries that hampered him all season. He had surgery this offseason to correct the problem theoretically. Either way, that's a lot of cash to shell out for someone who might have lost a step.
A lot of articles I'm reading seem to think Haden could be done, teams have to be willing to take a flier, but it's going to cost them too much. I don't agree. I think he had a few unlucky injuries but definitely has the talent to thrive in the right system. And I would hate to see him in black and yellow.
I was cruising a few Steelers sites before this news broke. Their beat writers don't seem very high on their secondary as is. Artie Burns, their top draft pick in 2016, is projected at number 1. Then William Gay returns in the slot. He has been admittedly good, but age starts to become a factor with him. Sean Davis could start outside opposite Burns, but is nothing to write home about. Ross Cockrell started 16 games last season but has looked bad this year. Coty Sensabaugh is a journeyman the Steelers signed this offseason, who might steal Cockrell's job, but he isn't a guy that's going to make Tom Brady think twice about throwing pills right past his ear hole. Cameron Sutton is their rookie CB out of Tennessee who is making some waves after his early camp injury, but that about rounds it out.
Pro Football Focus ranked the Steelers secondary as 12th best going into this season. (The Pats are 2nd behind the Giants and if Malcolm Butler steps it up like I know he will we should be 1) I think 12th for the Steel Curtain is a little bit of a boost, but I accept they are slightly above average. Even with all their offensive weapons and the skill of Big Ben, we have still owned them over the years. Tom is 9-2 against them in his career. Over the last 6 games he is 5-1 with 19 tuddies and no picks. LOL.
Part of the reason for this dominance is the Steelers run the same moronic defensive scheme against us every game. They use these zone blitz packages which were outdated 7 years ago and Tom sits back in the pocket and slides space warping passes through the windows like a perfect game of tetris. I don't know if they were too scared or too stupid to play man, but all that could change with the addition of Haden.
One Steelers site was wondering if the Steelers should trade for Haden, even with that contract. Here's what they said: "The Steelers could use a corner back like Haden on the outside opposite Artie Burns, and it could certainly help complete their roster, but it all comes down to cost. In my opinion, Pittsburgh should be doing whatever possible to win now. Ben Roethlisberger’s time in the NFL is waning, so do what you have to do to make this football team not just a playoff contender, but a Super Bowl contender. If that means parting ways with a receiver like Coates and a mid-round draft pick? So be it, as long as the coaching staff feels Haden can still be the Pro Bowl player he once was in Cleveland."
It rattles me to a degree that the fan base is willing to give up a big, young wide out on the rise plus a 4th rounder for a dude with a massive contract, who they are now going to get on a way more team friendly deal without giving up anything. I'm probably overreacting, I've been known to to do that, and it only gets worse once the season starts. But if you're keeping score at home, mark me down for being concerned if we're staring down a healthy Joe Haden in the AFCCG.