Wednesday morning, the Cleveland Browns announced the release of cornerback Joe Haden, who was the team’s second-longest tenured player behind left tackle Joe Thomas.
While many fans will debate the decision and where he ends up next, I asked Browns fans earlier today to leave us with some of your favorite memories of Haden since the team made him the No. 7 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. There is no doubt that Haden was all-in when it came to representing Cleveland.
Joe Haden’s Goodbye on Social Media
“I would first like to take the time to thank the Browns fans all around the world from the bottom of my heart for making Cleveland a happy home for me for the past seven years. I want to also thank my coaches, the organization, and especially my teammates who have become family. My God doesn't make mistakes and I know the future is bright.”
Browns Fans Pay Tribute With Their Favorite Haden Memories
We’ll start with his generosity off-the-field and his never-dying attitude to embrace Cleveland fans.
My friends and I said hi to him and shook his hand at Barley House and then he gave us a newly opened bottle of champagne he had just bought— Bottlegate (@Bottlegate) August 30, 2017
Met him at Barley House. Told him I met his mom at a game & how nice she was. Didn't want to bug him, so I tried to end the convo & move on— 10¢b (@TenCentBeers) August 30, 2017
@TenCentBeers went on to add, "But Haden started asking about me, what I did, etc. Leaned in to hear me over the music. Just seemed so genuinely interested and polite. Most pro athletes would just brush off fan encounters like that because they (understandably!) want some privacy/normalcy with their friends. But he took the time to really try to make a human connection with a stranger, and that effort/encounter always stuck with me.
I worked at Cedar Point one summer and he came by our 3 point shootout game and played for over a hour. He gave away all his prizes to kids— Andy Lipocky (@andylipocky) August 30, 2017
ran into him the night the cavs won the finals fittingly. He was the epitome of a Cleveland athlete pic.twitter.com/GqztZbkjTR— Colin O'Grady (@OGrady050) August 30, 2017
A group of us waited after training camp last year to get some graphs. Joe drove over and got out to talk to us for 15 minutes. Class act— Hue Gotta Believe (@Cultice) August 30, 2017
We live in TX. We travel (at least 6 hrs) to watch them play, staying in team hotel. @joehaden23 -- so kind to my sons 1st time in Houston— Bob Pase (@paspase) August 30, 2017
I saw him at the cavs draft party the year we drafted Kyrie. Joe was very nice and even autographed a basketball I brought.— Joshua Oleksiak (@gobrowns28) August 30, 2017
He was at the Indians home opener about five years ago. Spent about 3 innings signing autographs and taking pics. Didn't turn away one fan— The Jake (@Jakerbaker58) August 30, 2017
But there were also a lot of on-the-field memories.
Most of my good memories of Joe are bad memories for AJ Green.— Fourth (@Fourthizzle) August 30, 2017
I saw him run back an Andy Dalton int in Cincy. Then the whole shithouse went up in flames and our Brownies got blown out.— Rob (@reh_buckeye) August 30, 2017
Intercepting Matt Ryan while guarding Julio Jones https://t.co/ZzqvUDvx6T— Chris Smith (@The86Kid) August 30, 2017
The next time....sad it couldn't come true— Jesse Bowden (@mhousej21) August 30, 2017
I met joe the first game lebron was back shook is hand and the next two games he had a INT he walked through the crowd not around it— steven glandsburg (@Nafsnworb) August 30, 2017
And lastly, some fans who have paid homage to Haden over the years through their beloved pets or memorabilia:
Man.. My dog is named Haden for @joehaden23. Thank you for everything you did for Cleveland, you will be a Brown forever! Much love G! pic.twitter.com/8tJcDtgSzz— Matt Mramer (@SportsMattCLE) August 30, 2017
Joe's jersey is the only one I've bought for my sons. Highest endorsement I can give.— Ben Williams (@perditiondawgs) August 30, 2017
August 30, 2017
Bro used to mow his grass. Went to a game in Cincy, when he got a pick he recognized him & threw him the ball, signed it back in Cle— Shue (@Shuebacca_) August 30, 2017
.@joehaden23 Thank you for everything you did here for us in #Cleveland I will always be proud I named my son after you! #GoBrowns #JoeHaden— ☠ TheeCleveland ☠ (@TheeCleveland) August 30, 2017
For a long time, i never could find a name that means "Cleveland" to me, Joe Haden, was always my favorite player on the browns, ill MissHim— DarthSidious(Andrew) (@WickedDrew) August 30, 2017
Met him on West 6th street 6 years ago pic.twitter.com/jCW67DbSrg— Jon (@pronkville08) August 30, 2017