Joe Haden

CB Joe Haden Announces Retirement

After a 12-year career spent in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Joe Haden is walking away from the game. The former Pro Bowl cornerback plans to retire, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus (via Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper).

While Haden drew some interest this offseason, he did not sign with a team ahead of training camp. The 33-year-old defender ended his career as a 149-game starter. That ranks as a top-50 total in NFL history at cornerback. Among active corners, only Patrick Peterson has lined up as a first-stringer more often.

The Cardinals, Dolphins, Rams and Raiders showed interest this offseason, according to’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). Haden was said to be weighing offers. If so, none of the teams’ proposals did enough to convince him to play a 13th season, but Fowler adds the longtime starter entered free agency planning to do so.

The first cornerback chosen in the 2010 draft (No. 7 overall), Haden earned Pro Bowl nods with the Browns and Steelers. He spent time anchoring secondaries in Cleveland and, after a late-summer release in 2017, became a key figure on a few Steelers playoff teams. Lasting longer than most as a No. 1 corner, Haden made Pro Bowls with the 2013 and ’14 Browns and received his third invite in 2019 — at age 30 — with the Steelers. The 5-foot-11 defender ended his career with 29 interceptions; a six-INT rookie season did the most to bolster that total.

Haden signed a Browns extension in 2014 and played three seasons on that contract but was one of a few veterans to leave the team during its aggressive rebuild attempt from 2016-17. The Browns attempted to keep the ex-Florida Gator on a reduced salary and made efforts to trade him, but the team’s top corner instead ended up on the open market. Although Haden became connected to several other teams — the Dolphins, Eagles, Saints, Chiefs, Cowboys and 49ers — in free agency, he chose the Steelers after visit that occurred hours after his Browns exit. The short Rust Belt trek produced a three-year, $27MM deal, the first of Haden’s two Steelers agreements.

After the arrivals of Haden and T.J. Watt in 2017, the Steelers made a run at the AFC’s No. 1 seed. Ryan Shazier‘s injury and the controversial Jesse James touchdown overturn re-routed the 13-3 team to the No. 2 seed, and an eventual divisional-round loss, but that season began a lengthy Haden second act. The Steelers extended Haden in 2019 — a two-year, $22MM accord — and he ended up starting 67 games with his second NFL employer. That period produced top-10 total defenses from 2017-20 in Pittsburgh and three playoff berths. Haden angled for a third Steelers deal last year, but the team moved on via younger, cheaper options this offseason.

Haden ended up doing incredibly well for himself financially in the NFL, making more than $121MM in 12 years. He arrived during the last draft to feature monster rookie contracts for first-rounders, before the 2011 CBA changed the rookie salary scale, landing a five-year, $40MM deal in 2010. That figure eclipses what 2022 No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker signed for this offseason. The Browns gave Haden a five-year deal in 2014 (worth $67.5MM) as well.

CB Joe Haden Weighing FA Offers

After entering last season without extending Joe Haden, the Steelers signaled they were prepared to move on. Three months after the 2022 league year began, Pittsburgh has followed through with that plan. Haden is not expected to return to Pittsburgh.

But the 12-year veteran appears to have other options. Offers have come in for Haden to play a 13th season, according to Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed, who notes those proposals remain on the table. Haden spent the past five years as a valuable defensive starter in Pittsburgh, helping the team craft a late-2010s defensive resurgence. The former Browns first-rounder may have a third NFL employer soon.

The offers Haden has received have not, however, induced him to sign. Haden, 33, inked two contracts with the Steelers — a three-year, $27MM pact late in the summer of 2017 and a two-year, $22.4MM extension agreed to in 2019 — but it is likely he will need to play at a reduced rate in 2022.

Stephon Gilmore is a year younger than Haden, but the Colts gave him a two-year, $23MM deal. That contract differs from other pacts given to over-30 outside corners this offseason. Patrick Peterson re-signed with the Vikings for one year and $4MM, while the Ravens landed Kyle Fuller for one year and $2.5MM. Other veterans are in Haden’s boat. Xavier Rhodes, Robert Alford, Jason McCourty and Jackrabbit Jenkins remain unsigned.

PFF viewed Haden’s 2021 season as his worst in Pittsburgh, ranking him outside the top 60 corners. Haden’s passer rating as the closest defender vaulted to 100.1; that figure stood at 75.9 in 2020. Haden made the Pro Bowl in 2019. The Steelers do not have a corner with Haden’s pedigree, but they did re-sign Ahkello Witherspoon and add Levi Wallace in free agency. What other teams could be out there for Haden?

The Cardinals come to mind as a team in need. Kliff Kingsbury said veterans will be on the radar, and although Arizona added Josh Jackson, the team that tragically lost free agency addition Jeff Gladney in a fatal car accident figures to keep exploring the market ahead of training camp. The Giants, who cut James Bradberry in May, are thin at corner. Though, they are much closer to rebuilding than contending. The Patriots lost J.C. Jackson and may end up relying on Jalen Mills and the recently unretired Malcolm Butler, though the team is high on fourth-round rookie Jack Jones. With Wallace joining the Steelers and Tre’Davious White not a lock to be ready for Week 1, could the Bills come into play?

Haden signing somewhere would make him just the second corner to be on a team ahead of his age-33 season this year. Casey Hayward, who turns 33 in September, is the only such player exiting June.

Steelers Not Seeking Outside Additions At CB, DL

This offseason has seen a number of changes on the defensive side of the ball for the Steelers, leaving questions being asked at the cornerback and defensive line positions in particular. However, as detailed by Mark Kaboly of the Athletic (subscription required), the team is looking to internal options to fill important roles at those spots. 

The CB room includes, as Kaboly states, a number of complimentary players, such as a former third-rounders Ahkello Witherspoon and Cameron Sutton. The latter took on a much larger workload in 2022, playing over 1,000 snaps for the first time in his career. Pittsburgh also added former Bill Levi Wallace in free agency, giving them another consistent, starting-caliber member of the secondary.

The unit has lost a familiar face in veteran Joe Haden, who was reported to be on the way out earlier this offseason. On that point, Kaboly confirms that the Steelers “have shown no interest” in a reunion with the 33-year-old. Lacking an established No. 1 at the position, Kaboly reports that team nevertheless appears willing to “ride with what they have,” leaning on their elite pass rush.

Their front seven suffered a substantial loss as well, though, after the retirement of Stephon TuittThat leaves the team in need of a new starter along the defensive line, which should lead to an increased workload for Tyson Alualu. The 35-year-old played only two games in 2021 because of an ankle injury, but he has provided consistent rotational play throughout his career. Kaboly also names Chris Wormley as an incumbent in line for more snaps. The former Raven recorded a career-high seven sacks last year, but was also part of the reason Pittsburgh gave up a league-worst 146 yards per game on the ground. Recent draftees Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal will feature in the d-line rotation as well.

This late in the offseason, the Steelers, like all teams, are essentially set at the top of their roster. While their defense still features the likes of T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick, internal progress will need to be made at the front and backends of the unit if it is to help lead the team to another playoff berth.

CB Joe Haden Unlikely To Re-Sign With Steelers

After the Steelers re-signed CB Ahkello Witherspoon and added former Bills corner Levi Wallace, all signs have been pointing to Joe Haden leaving Pittsburgh in search of a new employer. Haden himself seemed to confirm as much in a tweet last night that read, “Steelernation we will always have memories!”

Indeed, Jeremy Fowler of says that Haden’s days with the Steelers are likely over (Twitter link). There has been no reported interest in him just yet, but following a successful five-year stint in the Steel City, he should be able to land a quality contract on the open market.

The Browns selected Haden with the No. 7 overall pick of the 2010 draft, and he earned two consecutive Pro Bowl bids from 2013-14. Injuries and a corresponding drop in performance led the Browns to request a pay cut in advance of the 2017 season, but the two sides could not come to terms in that regard, and Cleveland could not find any takers in a trade. The club therefore released Haden in August 2017, and the division-rival Steelers were quick to scoop him up.

The Florida product reestablished himself as a CB1 in Pittsburgh, notching 10 interceptions, 54 passes defensed, and his third career Pro Bowl selection during the last five seasons. However, in the eyes of Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, his play has started to decline a bit over the past two years, and his 63.4 grade in 2021 was his lowest mark since 2016. He also failed to record an interception in his 12 games.

Still, CB-needy teams could do much worse, and now that the first wave of free agency is in the books, we could start to hear Haden’s name more often on the rumor mill.

Steelers Re-Sign CB Maulet

The Steelers tied up one of their loose ends before the start of free agency this week, signing cornerback Arthur Maulet to a new two-year deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Maulet signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2017, spending most of his time in New Orleans on the practice squad but appearing in six games. After being waived in 2018, the Colts claimed Maulet off waivers. He played five games in Indianapolis, earning his first career start, before getting waived and re-signed to the Saints’ practice squad.

Maulet signed a reserve/future contract in 2019 with the Jets. In New York, Maulet started 11 games over two years splitting time at cornerback and strong safety. He recorded his first career interceptions in New York, reeling in one each year there, and recorded his first career sack in 2020.

In May 2021, the Steelers signed Maulet to a one-year, $990,000 deal. Maulet appeared in all but one game last year for the Steelers, earning two starts at cornerback. Maulet adds some much needed depth to the cornerback’s room in Pittsburgh, rejoining starter Cameron Sutton and back ups Tre Norwood, James Pierre, and Justin Layne. Starting cornerback Joe Haden and key back up Ahkello Witherspoon are also on their way to free agency.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/8/22

Today’s updates for the reserve/COVID-19 and practice squad/COVID-19 lists:

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Steelers Rule Out T.J. Watt, Joe Haden For Week 11

Pittsburgh’s defense will be missing a few key pieces Sunday night. T.J. Watt and Joe Haden will not play against the Chargers this week.

Neither practiced this week after suffering injuries during the tie game against the Lions. Watt, who missed one game earlier this year because of a groin issue, is now battling hip and knee trouble. Haden is dealing with a foot injury.

This will further deplete a Steelers team that has Ben Roethlisberger and Minkah Fitzpatrick on its reserve/COVID-19 list. Mike Tomlin has said Fitzpatrick, placed on the list after a positive COVID test Monday, is unlikely to suit up. The team remains hopeful Roethlisberger, who has experienced symptoms after testing positive last Saturday, will start despite not practicing this week. The Steelers must activate Big Ben by Saturday afternoon for him to return to action.

Going through a contract year that is expected to lead to a free agency run, Haden missed a game earlier this season. He has been a Steelers starter since 2017, with his arrival coinciding with the team making a leap on defense. Watt arrived the same year, and his presence has been the top driver for the Steelers leading the NFL in sacks four years running.

Pittsburgh still has Alex Highsmith set to start Sunday, but its trade of Melvin Ingram stripped away a key depth piece — albeit one disgruntled about his reserve role at the time — from a defense that has dealt with injuries throughout the season.

The Steelers, who have been without Stephon Tuitt all season, also ruled out starting guard Kevin Dotson, who is down with an ankle ailment.

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 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.

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.