On the heels of Richard Sherman signing a record-setting contract to remain with the Seahawks through the 2018 season, another cornerback has agreed to an extension of his own. The Browns have signed Joe Haden to a new contract that will lock him up through the 2019 season, the team announced today (via Twitter).
The five new years on Haden’s deal are worth $68MM, meaning he’ll be in line for about $75MM in total over the next six seasons. While the $13.6MM annual value on the extension itself is a little less than what Sherman got ($14MM per year), Haden’s new contract includes a $14MM signing bonus, $22MM in fully guaranteed money, and another $23MM that’s guaranteed for injury only, all numbers that reportedly exceed what Sherman received.
Haden, who earned his first Pro Bowl nod last season, has graded as a top-20 cornerback in each of his first four NFL seasons, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). In 2013, the former seventh overall pick recorded 54 tackles, broke up 20 passes, and grabbed four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
Because Haden’s previous contract had been set to expire after the coming season, an extension for the standout cornerback had been viewed as a priority for the Browns. Haden becomes the second core piece the Browns have locked up to a long-term contract this offseason — of course, in the case of Alex Mack, the center agreed to an offer sheet with the Jaguars that Cleveland decided to match, so it’s a step in the right direction for the Browns that they didn’t let Haden reach unrestricted free agency.
The Haden extension is the latest update in what’s been a whirlwind week for the Browns, who landed a 2015 first-rounder in a trade with the Bills, and also drafted a potential franchise quarterback (Johnny Manziel) and a cornerback to play across from Haden (Justin Gilbert). On the flip side, word also broke that star receiver Josh Gordon is facing a lengthy suspension for violating the league’s drug policy, leaving the team’s receiving corps looking awfully thin.
We’ll have to wait for the specific year-by-year figures on Haden’s new deal, but it sounds to me as if the salary in the first year (2015) is fully guaranteed, and that the salaries for 2016 and 2017 are guaranteed for injury only. With Haden and Sherman locked up, Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals appears to be the next notable corner in line for an extension. We heard yesterday that Peterson and the Cardinals have discussed a new long-term deal, with the 23-year-old presumably looking to match or exceed the deals agreed to by his fellow Pro Bowl cornerbacks.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk first reported that Haden and the Browns had reached an agreement, and had the figures on the guaranteed money in the deal. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter) added the overall amount of the contract.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.