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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