CBS Sports named their All-30-and-Over Defensive Team on Thursday and included Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden, who is aging like a fine wine.
Even at his advanced age, the 32-year-old has been steady and reliable for the Steelers since joining the club in 2017.
“Haden has been a cornerback in the league for 11 seasons, and is still really good despite heading into his mid-30s,” CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr wrote. “Opposing quarterbacks completed just 47.9% of their passes targeting Haden, compiling just a 56.8 passer rating. Haden was targeted just 73 times, yet still was able to come up with 12 passes defended.”
Once considered a premier cornerback in all of football, Kerr argues that he has actually become an underrated and underestimated commodity at this stage of his career.
“Haden is still one of the underrated cover corners in the game,” Kerr adds. “Since he turned 30, opposing quarterbacks have just a 55.5 passer rating targeting Haden — who has seven interceptions.”
Haden remaining a top corner will be crucial for the Steelers in 2021 following the departure of his partner Steven Nelson. With inexperienced options vying for the spot opposite him, the Steelers need Haden to continue playing at a high level if they are keep their place as one of the league’s top defenses.
Selected with the seventh pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Haden was a star with the Cleveland Browns for the first seven years of his career. He earned a pair of Pro Bowl selections and a Second-Team All-Pro nod in 2013 while with the club.
Believing his best days were behind him, the Brown released Haden ahead of the 2017 season. That is when Pittsburgh came calling.
He has since been named to another Pro Bowl, while recording ten interceptions and 48 passes defended with the Steelers.
Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward, 32, was a second team selection.