Over at the MMQB, they published a feature piece on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense rallying behind No. 50, Ryan Shazier, after what happened to him earlier this season. Intermixed in the article was also a spotlight on former Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who talked a little more about what led to his departure from Cleveland.
The article claims that former Browns Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown told Haden that “he was no longer a top-five cornerback and would have to take a pay cut.” Haden asked for his release, and it was granted. We’ve heard most of that before, but not the top-five cornerback part (although Brown wasn’t wrong). Here is what Haden said about the matter:
“They were going to pay Brock Osweiler $16 million and he’s not even on the team, and they wanted to cut money from me!”
Well, I’ll give him that.
The article also says that Pittsburgh was the first team to reach out to Haden when he became available. Safety Mike Mitchell called the Browns dumb for releasing him. “They’re dumb—that’s Cleveland,” says Mitchell. “You can’t find a top-10 corner in September; that just doesn’t happen. He was the final piece.”
It’s all worked out for Haden so far. Although he got hurt this season, he’s back in time for his first postseason. He got to avoid going 0-16, but is also still relatively beloved by Cleveland fans despite wearing black and gold.