Well, it looks like you can come home again.
Former Pro Bowl cornerback and fan favorite, Joe Haden, will sign a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
Haden, just 33 years old, wrapped up an impressive 12-year career when the Pittsburgh Steelers let his contract expire.
Former Pittsburgh and Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden is retiring and will sign a one-day contract to retire as a Brown, per sources. His agent, @DrewJRosenhaus , confirmed his client’s decision. pic.twitter.com/kq9xwv7Ohb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 21, 2022
He was highly sought after as a free agent, with the Buffalo Bills’ Von Miller among those calling.
That is when he posted a picture of his Steelers and Browns jerseys side-by-side.
Haden made $121.4 million for his career. Hard to take any old deal at that point.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 21, 2022
In June, Haden hinted at a reunion with the Browns and posted a photo of himself in his Browns uniform.
But as free agency rolled into the preseason, he remained unsigned and unheard from.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced Haden’s retirement plans, and agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed them.
Former First Round Draft Pick
Haden was a highly regarded cornerback coming out of college but underwhelmed at the NFL Combine with a 4.53 40-yard-dash.
But the Browns’ Eric Mangini was among 75 scouts who saw Haden follow that up with a 4.43 dash at a Florida Pro Day.
It was enough to convince the Browns to take Haden with the 7th overall selection of the 2010 NFL Draft.
He went on to play in 2 Pro Bowls as a Brown, racking up an Impressive 107 passes-defensed in 7 seasons.
I forget some of the little details but at one point Joe Haden joined Joe Thomas as the only Browns first round picks to have signed second contracts with the team in a long long time… Might even had been any draft picks…
Either way, he was big for the team in down years
— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) September 21, 2022
But injuries limited Haden to just 5 games in 2015 and slowed him down during the subsequent campaign, too.
And at the height of the Sashi Brown purge, highly paid players whose skills were slipping were an endangered species.
Haden, refusing to take a pay cut, found himself on the trade market.
And when no team was willing to take on his salary, he was unceremoniously cut at the end of the 2017 preseason.
Steelers Wasted No Time
Only hours after his release was announced, Joe Haden was a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Cleveland’s rival signed Haden to a 3-year deal worth $27 million.
Haden showed his appreciation by sacking Browns quarterback Deshone Kizer in the Steelers’ season opener.
He didn’t put up his best numbers in 2017, but he improved each of the next few seasons.
Been officially three years since Joe Haden was cut by the Browns. Since then, he has grabbed eight interceptions with the Steelers. Haden was the first major piece in turning the Steelers secondary into the unit it is today.
Here are all eight of those interceptions. pic.twitter.com/0ymufOPXoB
— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) August 30, 2020
And after the 2019 season, he went to his third Pro Bowl thanks to 5 interceptions and 17 pass breakups.
In 2021, Haden was instrumental in helping the Steelers develop their young secondary.
But that was not enough to prompt Pittsburgh to re-sign the veteran in what appears to be a rebuilding season.
He retires with the 7th-most passes defended in NFL history (155), 29 interceptions, and 615 tackles.
Cleveland hosts the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.