Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden could be contemplating a return to his first team, the Cleveland Browns. Haden posted a photo of him in from his days with the Browns on Instagram on Wednesday with the caption “Discussion.”
Haden, 32, spent the last five seasons with the Steelers as the team’s starting outside cornerback, but was not offered a contract by the team since hitting free agency in March, and said goodbye to Pittsburgh, and moved from his area home.
The former Florida Gator was drafted by the Browns with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland before his unexpected release by the Browns on the eve of the 2017 season.
The Steelers snapped him up and Haden has been with Pittsburgh ever since, but with the team choosing to re-sign Ahekllo Witherspoon and bring in former Buffalo Bills starter Levi Wallace to go along with Cam Sutton, the Steelers do not seem to have a current need for Haden.
Cleveland has recent high draft picks Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams and Greg Newsome II penciled in as starters, as well, so there is not an easy apparent path to a lot of playing time for Haden in either locker room.
The Browns do have the most available salary cap space, with a current space of $41.4 million, according to Spotrac. The Steelers have the fourth-most current cap space available.
The free agent cornerback market has been slow this offseason, with former starters Chris Harris, Kevin King, Trae Waynes, Janoris Jenkins, Jimmy Smith and Xavier Rhodes all still available in addition to Haden.
In 12 NFL seasons, Haden has played in 158 games and made 148 starts, recorded 615 tackles and 29 interceptions and defended 155 passes. Ninety of his career games were played for the Browns, while 68 of them where played with the Steelers.