A notable Pittsburgh Steelers veteran is calling it a career.
As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, September 21, Steelers cornerback Joe Hadden is retiring after 12 seasons. The 33-year-old cornerback had spent the prior five seasons with the Steelers after spending his first seven years with the Cleveland Browns.
“Joe Haden will sign a one-day contract to retire with the Browns, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as the cornerback ends a 12-year NFL career spent in Cleveland and Pittsburgh,” say Schefter. “Haden’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the decision to retire to Schefter.”
As noted by Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, Haden is signing a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Browns.
“Haden announced his retirement on Wednesday,” says Alper. “His agent Drew Rosenhaus told PFT he will be signing a one-day contract with the Browns and will be honored later in the season.”
Report: Haden Had ‘Offers’ in the Offseason
Since ending his tenure with the Steelers following the 2021 season, Haden remained a free agent. Back in June, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus actually proposed the Steelers re-sign Haden. Kyed also mentioned that Haden had “offers on the table.”
“Haden, 33, remains unsigned but still appeared to have more in the tank last season,” said Kyed on June 29. “He has offers currently on the table, per a source. Even with Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety, the Steelers ranked 28th in Mike Renner’s secondary unit rankings.”
Although Haden had his best years in Cleveland — former All-Pro selection and two-time Pro Bowler with the Browns — he had a mostly productive stint in Pittsburgh. Haden started 67 of his 68 appearances and posted 10 interceptions to go along with 54 pass deflections.
Haden made it to the Pro Bowl during the 2019 season while posting a 70.3 defensive grade and a 71.3 grade in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. Haden ranked 26th in defensive grade and 24th in coverage (among those with at least 500 snaps) among all cornerbacks in the league in 2019.
Haden, Steelers Failed to Agree on Contract Extension in 2021
The veteran cornerback had attempted to sign a contract extension prior to the start of the 2021 season. However, the two sides were unable to come to an agreement, with the intention that Haden would test free agency in 2022.
“After approaching the Steelers about an extension to finish his career in Pittsburgh, Pro-Bowl CB Joe Haden has decided to play out his contract and test the free agent market in 2022 when the cap is expected to increase significantly, per his agent DrewJRosenhaus,” reported Schefter in September of 2021.
Haden had stressed his desire to remain in Pittsburgh during training camp last year.
“Obviously want to stay here,” Haden said. “Just the organization, the staff coaches, coach T. I don’t have too much more. But I want to be here.”
“We expect him to have a very strong market,” Haden’s agent, Rosenhaus, told Schefter.
The 12-year veteran finishes his career with 148 starts with 158 games to go along with 15 tackles, 29 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, and three sacks.