Joe Haden

Joe Haden Plans To Play Out Contract, Test Free Agency

Joe Haden hoped to sign a second Steelers extension soon, but that may not be in the team’s immediate plans. Haden is now planning to play out his contract year and test free agency in 2022, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The Steelers and their top corner agreed to a two-year, $22MM extension two years ago today. That deal expires at the end of the 2021 season. Haden’s adjusted strategy will put him on track to hit free agency in March for the first time.

The veteran defender approached the Steelers about another re-up recently, per Schefter, but nothing came to pass. The Steelers frequently extend players just before their contract years begin. Haden’s new plan suggests the team is fine letting the three-time Pro Bowler go through his walk year.

While the Steelers did land Haden as a free agent in 2017, the Browns cut him late that summer. He has yet to be an unrestricted free agent at the time in which teams are most prepared to spend.

Haden’s age will complicate matters. The 12th-year veteran will turn 33 in April. Teams are rarely eager to pay up for corners approaching their mid-30s, but Haden delivering a solid age-32 season this year will help him on the market — if the Steelers let this situation reach that point. Pittsburgh did let a few key cogs leave in free agency this year, slot corner Mike Hilton among them, and have big-ticket deals to finalize with T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Haden will check in below these younger standouts, priority-wise.

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Joe Haden Seeking Steelers Extension

The Steelers’ Joe Haden partnership has worked out remarkably well. The Pro Bowl cornerback has signed two contracts with the team and has played a key role in Pittsburgh’s defensive re-emergence over the past two seasons.

Haden is going into a contract year, however, with his two-year, $22MM agreement expiring after the 2021 season. The 12th-year veteran would prefer not to test free agency, instead seeking to sign a third Steelers pact and retire with the franchise.

I would rather have a contract more than this year because I want to end my career here,” Haden said, via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (subscription required). “We will see what happens, but we want to get T.J. Watt signed first, obviously. He’s the main priority.”

[RELATED: T.J. Watt Staging Hold-In]

Haden’s age (32) will complicate matters, and the Steelers do have Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick due for monster extensions. The latter is under contract through 2022, however, via the fifth-year option the Steelers exercised in May. The team, which parted ways with several veteran starters this offseason, is due to carry more than $70MM in cap space come 2022. And the perennial contenders are fond of moving money onto future caps to increase flexibility. If the Steelers want to keep Haden, they could.

This will be Haden’s fifth season with the Steelers, and the team will count on him after making big changes at corner. Pittsburgh moved on from its other two primary corners — Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson — in March and did not acquire notable replacements. The Steelers did re-sign Cameron Sutton, but they will count on at least one unproven player to log a major workload in a Haden-led position group this year.

The former Browns first-round pick signed a three-year, $27MM deal to join the Steelers in 2017, and he returned to the Pro Bowl in 2019 — months after signing his second contract with the team. After being largely an offense-oriented team during their “Killer B’s” run, the Steelers have ranked third and first in defensive DVOA over the past two seasons. The team now faces some decisions involving the key principals from this ascent.

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Joe Haden Tests Positive For COVID-19

The Steelers look to be without another key defender to start the playoffs. Joe Haden tested positive for COVID-19, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports.

Already down Bud Dupree and Devin Bush for the season’s remainder, the Steelers now face the prospect of playing without their most proven cornerback to start the playoffs. Haden is out for Week 17 against the Browns and, due to the 10-day isolation period required after a positive coronavirus test, the 11th-year cornerback would not be able to return for the Steelers’ wild-card game.

Shortly after the Browns released Haden in 2017, the former first-round pick bounced back with the Steelers. He has signed two Pittsburgh contracts and returned to the Pro Bowl. Haden’s arrival helped key a Steelers late-2010s defensive resurgence, and the AFC North champions have relied on that unit this season. But the team will not be close to full strength defensively when it opens the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 3 or No. 2 seed next week.

Haden’s three-year Steelers extension runs through next season, though the 31-year-old defender’s cap number spikes from $9.6MM to $15.6MM in 2021. He has started 56 games since signing with the Steelers, including 14 this season. On 79 targets this season, Haden has allowed a 50.6 completion percentage; Pro Football Focus grades him 45th overall among corners.

In addition to Haden being out for a game the Steelers are not exactly going all-out to win, the team will sit T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward and Maurkice Pouncey. The Steelers declared Ben Roethlisberger out earlier this week.

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Steelers CB Joe Haden Restructures Contract

The Steelers continue to turn to veterans to help them clear up some extra cap. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that Joe Haden has restructured his contract. Specifically, Haden guaranteed his salary all while opening up some extra breathing room for the front office.

This past season, the former first-round pick earned his first Pro Bowl nod since 2014. The veteran finished the campaign with 65 tackles, 17 passes defended, five interceptions, and one forced fumble. After spending seven seasons in Cleveland to start his career, Haden has seemingly found a home in Pittsburgh, where he’s spent the past three seasons.

Last September, Haden signed a new two-year, $22MM extension that would last through the 2021 campaign. The 30-year-old was set to have a $12.6MM cap hit next season.

Earlier this evening, we learned that the Steelers front office pulled off a similar move with veteran kicker Chris Boswell.

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Contract Details: Tyreek Hill, Joe Haden

Here are some contract details on a pair of recently-signed extensions:

  • Tyreek Hill, WR (Chiefs): Three years, $54MM. Injury guarantee is $35.26MM. $18.34MM guaranteed as of tomorrow (via $5.8MM signing bonus, 2019 minimum base salary, 2020 minimum base salary, $11MM roster bonus (paid in 2020)). Cashflow includes $6.52MM (2019), $16.2MM (2020), $15.4MM (2021). Team has flexibility to go year-by-year, roster bonuses determined early in league year. Details via Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com on Twitter.
  • Joe Haden, CB (Steelers): Two years, $22MM. $13.8MM signing bonus, dropping 2019 salary from $10MM to $1.2MM (with a $3MM roster bonus). Non-guaranteed $7MM via salary/bonuses for 2020 and 2021. Cap numbers: $8.772MM (2019), $12.6MM (2020), $12.6MM (2021). Details via ESPN’s Dan Graziano on Twitter.

AFC Notes: Glenn, Robinson, Haden, Harris

Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn has been ruled out of the team’s Week 1 game, Ben Baby of ESPN.com relays. Back-up left tackle Andre Smith will take over duties and will face a fearsome defensive front in Seattle that includes newcomers Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Jaguars LT Cam Robinson is not playing vs. the Chiefs but it’s not the knee that he recently had surgery on that’s keeping him out, as Phillip Heilman of The Athletic relays (Twitter links). Robinson’s right knee is now the issue.
  • Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has details on Joe Hadens extension with the Steelers. The pact comes with a signing bonus of $13.8MM.
  • Don’t expect an extension for Broncos CB Chris Harris anytime soon. Troy Renck of ABC Denver (Twitter link) hears that an extension is not in the team’s plans right now, as John Elway & Co. will wait until the offseason to handle the matter.

 

Steelers, Joe Haden Agree To Extension

At long last, Joe Haden has agreed to a new deal with the Steelers. Haden’s brand new two-year extension will pay him $22MM and keep him under club control through the 2021 campaign (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

As a part of the deal, Haden will receive a $16.8MM signing bonus. For this year, he’ll earn his previously slated $10MM/year salary.

We’re still waiting on the specific breakdown of the pact, but it’ll likely lessen Haden’s cap hit in the near term, giving the Steelers some additional flexibility.

After missing time in 2018 with an injury, Haden returned to play 15 games last season. He graded out as a top-40 cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus – that’s a notch below his best Browns years, but the 30-year-old remains an upper-echelon cover man.

The Steelers added cornerbacks this offseason, signing Steven Nelson and drafting Justin Layne in Round 3. Meanwhile, they’ll move forward with disappointing 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns after cutting him an $800K bonus check in August.

Haden, meanwhile, has brought consistency as a boundary corner, something the Steelers have sorely lacked. His new deal is sizable for a 30-year-old, but it also makes plenty of sense for the Steelers.

 

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Steelers, Joe Haden Making Progress

The Steelers and corner Joe Haden are making progress on a two-year contract extension, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The two sides have exchanged proposals, so a deal might not be far off. 

For now, Haden is due $10MM as he enters the final year of his deal. A new pact would likely lessen Haden’s cap hit, while giving him security through the 2021 season.

After missing time in 2018 with an injury, Haden returned to play 15 games last season. He graded as a top-40 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. That is a cut below his best Browns seasons, but the 30-year-old defender remains an upper-echelon cover man.

The Steelers added cornerbacks this offseason, signing Steven Nelson and drafting Justin Layne in Round 3. Meanwhile, they’ll move forward with disappointing 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns after cutting him an $800K bonus check over the weekend.

Haden has operated as the team’s No. 1 cornerback since arriving. The Steelers have not enjoyed much consistency aside from Haden at the boundary corner positions for a while, a new deal would make sense.

While the corner market has not moved much at the top in recent years, lesser-acclaimed DBs have signed for $10MM-plus since Haden last put pen to paper. The $9MM-AAV defender will almost certainly target eight figures per year for his early-30s contract.

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Steelers Notes: Colbert, Tomlin, Burns, Haden

The Steelers staved off questions about Mike Tomlin’s job status, at least temporarily, by giving him a one-year extension recently. They didn’t do the same for GM Kevin Colbert, and that was apparently at his request. Colbert told reporters at training camp today that “he’s not getting an extension because he wanted to go year-to-year based on ‘personal request’ to organization,” per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Fowler notes that Colbert is only under contract until May of 2020, and that the GM said his age could be a factor in whether or not he steps away. Colbert, 62, has been Pittsburgh’s front office head since 2010.

This is the first we’ve heard of any potential retirement for Colbert, so as Fowler points out, this is a “big development.” Steelers owner Art Rooney chimed in, saying “at this stage of the game, he’s really not looking to do any long-term planning,” per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We talked and we agreed he’d rather wait till after the season to talk about the contract.” Fowler noted in a follow-up tweet that Colbert indicated he could still be around for several more years, but he’s got “wiggle room” now. The Steelers have undergone a lot of change the last couple of years, and this would be another huge one.

Here’s more from Pittsburgh:

  • Tomlin’s job security has been a hot topic in recent years, and he’s one of the more polarizing coaches out there. He usually receives two-year extensions, so it was notable that this time around he only got one. When asked what he thought about that, Tomlin insisted it didn’t matter to him. “Nothing,” he told reporters, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. “I really don’t think a lot about it to be quite honest with you. I focus on the task at hand, and if you do that, contractual things take care of themselves.” Tomlin has been the coach since 2007, but he’ll be under intense pressure to win in 2019. If the Steelers struggle, his seat will start getting awfully hot.
  • Tomlin’s old contract had an option year that was triggered due to hitting a certain number of wins, Dulac tweets. A source told Dulac that Tomlin’s new recently signed contract doesn’t have any similar provisions.
  • The Steelers don’t only have to worry about the contract situation of their coach and general manager, some players need to be decided on as well. Pittsburgh didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on former first-round pick Artie Burns back in May, which led to a lot of speculation that he’d be cut. Burns was due an $800K roster bonus this weekend, so a decision was always going to have to be made right around now. Burns will in fact collect the $800K and he’ll be a member of the Steelers in 2019, reports Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Burns hasn’t lived up to his draft status, but he did start six games last year and all 16 the year before that.
  • In the same tweet, La Canfora notes that the team is “working on extending” cornerback Joe Haden. Haden is entering the final year of the three-year, $27MM deal he signed after being released by the Browns back in 2017, and we heard a couple of days ago that the two sides had begun talking.

Steelers, Joe Haden Discussing Deal

Joe Haden has sought a Steelers extension for a bit now, and the rumors of these talks being likely to take place once the team reported for training camp were accurate. Haden and the Steelers are discussing an extension, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

The 10th-year cornerback confirmed (via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and Steelers GM Kevin Colbert are talking re-up terms. Haden is entering the final season of the three-year, $27MM deal he signed just before the 2017 season.

Pittsburgh added multiple pieces to its cornerback equation this offseason, signing Steven Nelson and drafting Justin Layne in Round 3. The team also has to decide whether or not to pay disappointing 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns an $800K bonus this weekend.

Haden has operated as the team’s No. 1 cornerback since arriving. The Steelers have not enjoyed much consistency aside from Haden at the boundary corner positions for a while, so talking a new deal makes sense. While the corner market has not moved much at the top in recent years, lesser-acclaimed DBs have signed for $10MM-plus since Haden last put pen to paper. The $9MM-AAV defender will almost certainly target eight figures per year for his early-30s contract.

After missing time in 2018 with an injury, Haden retured to play 15 games last season. He graded as a top-40 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. That is a cut below his best Browns seasons, but the 30-year-old defender remains an upper-echelon cover man.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.