Joe Haden remains a free agent and sparked speculation that he could be returning to the Cleveland Browns with a post on social media on Wednesday.
The Browns currently have quite the stable of cornerbacks, led by Denzel Ward, 2021 first-round pick Greg Newsome II and Greedy Williams. However, Cleveland did get thinner at the position when they shipped out veteran Troy Hill during the draft.
Haden, 33, might not be the Pro Bowl-caliber player he once was but could still fill a rotational role if the Browns came calling. He played around 80% of the snaps last season in Pittsburgh, missing six games with a foot issue.
It’s not the first time Haden has started the conversation around a Cleveland reunion this offseason. He took to Instagram on May 12 with a photo of him in Browns and Steelers gear with a caption that read: “Let’s see what’s about to HAPPEN NEXT!!??!!”
Haden Bolted for Steelers After Browns Release
Haden played for the Browns from 2010-16, quickly becoming a fan favorite, despite the team’s overall struggles. He earned second-team All-Pro honors with the squad in 2013 and was a two-time Pro Bowl pick.
In 2017, Haden bolted for the Steelers just hours after being released by the Browns. He cited a want for team success and wanting to see the postseason is what drew him to the Steelers
”I just felt like once I was free, I wanted to have a chance to be able to play in some meaningful games, you know what I’m saying?,” Haden said after signing with the Steelers. “They don’t really miss the playoffs, so I’m like, I just wanted to be a part of something where I could play in the playoffs.”
Haden has talked about the admiration he has for the fans in Cleveland and tweeted his support for the team during the 2021 postseason when the Browns took on the Chiefs — a game they narrowly lost, 33-29.
“Chiefs Vs Browns! This is wild! I’m honestly Happy for the Browns fans! They Treated me like Gold in Cleveland. Can’t say the same about management…” Haden tweeted.
Steelers Will Miss Joe Haden’s Leadership
The Steelers are moving on from Haden but admitted it won’t be easy to replace his presence, both on the field and in the locker room.
“I’ll miss Joe tremendously as a person and just as a player, I mean I can’t say enough great things about his personality,” Steelers defensive backs coach Grady Brown said earlier this month. “I don’t know if he’s ever had a bad day, so we’ll all miss Joe, but just him being around, his energy that he brought every day and there was an eagerness to learn. You know, he wanted to know whatever it was that I wanted, that I had to teach him. And we’ll definitely miss him around here.”
For his career, Haden has tallied 615 tackles, including 14 for loss, 155 passes defended, 29 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, six recovered fumbles, six quarterback hits, three sacks and two defensive touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.