Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson is pushing back against reports that he was kept out of the loop and left livid by the team’s release of cornerback Joe Haden.
CBS Sports had reportedly Sunday that Jackson and other Browns coaches had been caught off guard and “irate” over the Browns’ decision to release Haden, but after the Browns’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jackson claimed that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“That did not come from me,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I think you guys know me well enough that if I feel something, I am going to say it. I don’t run from that. Me and the executive team are working lockstep, hand-in-hand. I don’t know where that came from. I trust (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) and I trust our executive team to make the right decisions for this football team.
“I stand behind that whole-heartedly. Never wanted to see Joe go, but at the same time, we made the decision as an organization. I totally stand behind it.”
Maybe Jackson was annoyed that Haden landed with Cleveland’s Week 1 opponent. Either way, it’s interesting that he felt it important to come out and deny this specific report.
The Cleveland Browns’ surprising decision to release cornerback Joe Haden prior to the season apparently was not well received by the team’s coaching staff.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that the release of Haden had Browns head coach Hue Jackson “irate.” Jackson reportedly had no idea that the team was even shopping the cornerback.
Cleveland’s coaching staff is said to have felt that Haden was having a good offseason and that he was healthier than he had been in the past. They also looked at him as a key leader for the club. Then the Browns released him out of nowhere, and he signed with the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
What did Cleveland gain from the move? They paid around $4 million to release him rather than the $11 million he was owed for the upcoming season.
Haden’s play had dropped off the past few years according to Pro Football Focus, but that could be attributed to injuries.
Clearly Pittsburgh expects him to turn it around.
Joe Haden wore No. 23 during his seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Typically players like to keep the same jersey number when they go to a new team, but Haden is obviously looking to start fresh.
Haden, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, was committed to wearing No. 21 with his new team. That number was already spoken for, but he was able to pry it away from fellow defensive back Robert Golden.
“I had to pay a little bit,” Haden said Wednesday, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
While Haden did not specify how much he paid, he signed a three-year, $27 million contract with Pittsburgh. You have to wonder if Golden took that into account.
Players paying for a jersey number isn’t all that uncommon. If we had to guess how much Haden paid for his, we’d say it was probably somewhere in the range of what Darrelle Revis shelled out when he became a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Joe Haden apparently wanted to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers pretty badly.
Haden reportedly agreed to sign a 3-year deal with the Steelers worth $27 million, including $7 million in guarantees, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter also says that Haden had larger offers from other teams but turned them down because he wanted to play in Pittsburgh.
Haden was a first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2010 and has never experienced a winning season. In fact, the most the Browns ever won during his career was seven games in a year. Last year they went 1-15.
Contrarily, Haden has seen what the Steelers organization can do up-close as he’s faced them twice a year since he’s been in the NFL. Going to play for last year’s AFC North champions makes a lot of sense for the cornerback, who was released by Cleveland Wednesday.
The Cleveland Browns on Wednesday released Joe Haden, and it looks like the cornerback may land with another team in the AFC North.
Multiple reporters say Haden will be meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday night.
The Steelers were previously identified as the favorite to sign Haden, so this piece of information seems to confirm that.
Haden is guaranteed to make $4 million this season because of his contract with Cleveland, meaning he could sign with any team of his choosing for a bargain price and still get paid his $4 million. That could make signing with a contender very enticing for the 28-year-old cornerback who has spent his entire career in Cleveland.
Joe Haden is expected to draw interest from a number of teams after he was released by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday morning, and the Pittsburgh Steelers could be at or near the top of the list.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that the Steelers are showing “strong interest” in Haden, and Adam Schefter has labeled them the favorite to land the veteran cornerback.
A number of factors could come into play for Haden in deciding who he wants to play for. For starters, he is going to make $4 million guaranteed in 2017 no matter what happens. If he signs a contract with more guaranteed money, the Browns are off the hook. If he signs for less than $4 million guaranteed, Cleveland would have to pay the difference.
What does that mean? Haden, 28, can sign for the veteran minimum and still make $4 million. Since he has done nothing but lose in his first seven NFL seasons, he might decide to sign with a contender for cheap and worry about signing a bigger contract next offseason.
The Steelers reached the AFC Championship Game last season, so they certainly qualify as a contender. They also need some veteran help, as their two starting cornerbacks could also wind up being rookie Cameron Sutton and second-year man Artie Burns. While we have already heard of some other teams being interested in Haden, he makes sense for Pittsburgh at the right price.
The Cleveland Browns released Joe Haden on Wednesday morning, and the veteran cornerback is not expected to remain a free agent for long if his salary demands are reasonable. One team to watch will be the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys are in need of help in their defensive backfield, and ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that they would have interest if the money is right.
According to Anderson’s colleague Adam Schefter, the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs also have interest:
Haden was making about $14 million per year with his Browns contract, and Cleveland tried to trade him before releasing him. At the very least, that means they couldn’t find a taker for the 28-year-old’s salary.
Depending on how low he is willing to go with his next contract, Haden could have multiple suitors when he becomes eligible to sign with a new team at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Every year, some NFL superstars unexpectedly experience a down season. For some, the lack of production is due to injuries. For others, the disappointing year could be attributed to anything from a new coach to a new system or a new team.
Most players bounces back, though a handful don’t. And in 2017, there’s little reason to believe that either end of that spectrum will change.
While it’s nearly impossible to tell which player will drop off, it’s much easier to predict who has the potential to rebound. With that in mind, here are 10 NFL players looking to bounce back in 2017.
10. Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland Browns
Joe Haden is dominant when he’s on the field. Unfortunately, staying healthy has become a bit troublesome for the 2010 first-round pick.
Haden has missed 14 games over the last two seasons. Had he not played through a series of groin injuries last year, there’s a strong chance he’d not only have lost his job, but quite possibly be out of work. And that’s not hyperbole; that comes directly from Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
“When I first got here, I went to his office and we talked for a while,” Haden told Cleveland.com in April. “He told me, ‘If you didn’t play through your injury, I would tell them to get you out of here.'”
Although Haden managed to play through his injuries for the most part, his performance on the field clearly suffered. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate based on his resume alone, but was a shell of his former dominant self.
On the bright side, in the rare moments Haden has been healthy, he’s displayed the same elite athleticism that’s sent him to two Pro Bowls and earned him second-team All-Pro honors in 2013. And if he can overcome his recent issues and stay on the field for all 16 games in 2017, there’s little reason to believe he won’t return to the same sort of dominance we’re all accustomed to.
9. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans (more…)
The Cleveland Browns have just four more chances to avoid becoming the second 0-16 team in NFL history. While the rest of the nation laughs, it’s a living nightmare for cornerback Joe Haden.
The last straw for Haden was a Bleacher Report simulation that showed Alabama trouncing the Browns 34-0.
“Comparing a college team to an NFL team, it’s disrespectful,” Haden said Friday, via Pat McManamon of ESPN. “That’s a smack in the face. It makes you very upset. That’s just a slap in the face. It doesn’t make any sense. Alabama is great. They’ve got amazing players. They’ve got players who are going to play in the NFL. We’ve got a team full of NFL guys.”
Haden also admitted it hurt to see a Browns fan planning an 0-16 “Perfect Season Parade” for the team.
“It’s terrible,” Haden said. “You’re talking about an 0-16 parade. … It’s very, very tough. It hits you right between the eyes. Because I’m on the team, there’s something I can do about it.”
Haden said he can barely watch sports coverage without being subjected to a Browns joke.
“And you’re hearing it from everywhere,” Haden said. “Everybody is giving it to you. There’s nothing you can do but go win. There’s nothing that can change this but winning. Until we get that changed, we’re going to be the laughingstock.”
Things are so bad, Haden doesn’t even go out much in the city of Cleveland anymore.
“Why would I go out?” Haden said. “Everybody in Cleveland, they recognize me. I’m a professional athlete in the city of Cleveland. When it’s not the season, I’m hanging out. It’s just so much easier to be able to talk. But now, there’s really nothing to say.”
It is really easy to make jokes about the Browns, but it’s hard to imagine being a part of the team that this is happening to. Just look at these quotes, or how their coach talks about the team’s struggles. No matter how much amusement the rest of us draw from it, it’s easy to see how being a national laughingstock is pretty awful to deal with.
The Cleveland Browns have only five chances remaining to avoid a winless 2016 season, and star cornerback Joe Haden is confident they will capitalize on at least one of them.
While speaking to reporters on Friday, Haden guaranteed the Browns will not become just the second 0-16 team in NFL history.
The 27-year-old also expressed full confidence in his personal abilities.
If the Browns want to avoid joining the Hall of Shame, they will have to beat either the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals or San Diego Chargers at home or win on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers or Buffalo Bills. It goes without saying that Cleveland will not be favored in any of those games.
The quarterback situation is as muddled as ever for the Browns, which won’t help matters. Believe it or not, their best bet may be crossing their fingers that they get this guy back before the end of the season. Otherwise, when you look at the schedule, 0-16 almost seems likely.