Joe Haden signed a three-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers two summers ago after being waived by the Cleveland Browns, and now two years later, Haden has inked a new, three-year contract with the Steelers that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2021 season.
Haden, 30, has signed a three-year, $32 million contract that includes $16.8 million in roster and signing bonuses, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If Haden plays through his new contract, he will become the second highest-paid corner in NFL history, with his career earnings totaling $123.8 million. Former New York Jets/New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis is the highest-earning cornerback in league history, with $124.2 million in career earnings.
"I am really happy with the Steelers," Haden told the team's official website shortly after signing his new deal. "I really like being here."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also likes the fact the Haden will remain in Pittsburgh for the next three seasons. After finishing in the middle of the pack in pass defense the year prior to Haden's arrival, the Steelers have finished in the top-10 in pass defense each of the past two seasons.
"Joe is a special guy. He has special talents," Tomlin recently said of Haden, a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick. "His approach to it day in and day out. He is a steadying influence for a young secondary. We ask him to do a lot of things beyond A, B, and C. He does it all with a smile. We are glad he is a Pittsburgh Steeler."
Haden joins several Steelers veterans who have also signed extensions this offseason. Offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster signed two-year extensions back in March, while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed an extension just before the start of the NFL draft that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2021 season.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert is surely hoping that his established veterans, along with the team's recent influx of young talent, can keep the Steelers' championship window with Big Ben under center open for at least three more years. Following last season's 9-6-1 record, Colbert re-shaped Pittsburgh's roster by adding much-needed depth to the receiver and inside linebacker positions. The team also acquired veteran cornerback Steven Nelson, a former Kansas City Chiefs starter who will now start in Pittsburgh alongside Haden.
Despite losing Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell this offseason, the standard within the Steelers' locker room continues to be pursuing a championship. Pittsburgh's first step towards achieving that goal will take place next Sunday night, when the Steelers head to New England to take on the defending world champions.