At one point not long ago, Joe Haden was considered a cornerstone of the Browns' rebuilding effort. And now the team is "aggressively trying to trade him," reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
Hearing from multiple teams that the Browns are aggressively trying to trade CB Joe Haden. Very motivated to move his contract— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 29, 2017
Haden's contract extension was signed in May 2014 and was for five years and $67.5 million. The seventh overall pick in 2010, Haden had six interceptions and 18 passes defended as a rookie. He didn't record an interception in 15 starts in 2015 but logged 10 -- along with 50 passes defended -- over the previous three seasons. But Haden has struggled with injuries and consistency in recent years and that -- along with his salary -- have apparently prompted the Browns to get younger and cheaper at the position.
As it stands, Haden ranks No. 7 in average salary among cornerbacks (per Spotrac.com) but he was one of the NFL's worst-performing cornerbacks last season, according to ProFootball Focus' grading system. He finished 115th out of 132 cornerbacks among all cornerbacks
Trading Joe Haden would leave the #Browns dead cap hits of $3.3M in 2017 & $3.2M in 2018. New team acquires cap hits of $11.1M/$11.2M/$10.5M— Spotrac (@spotrac) August 29, 2017
Haden has also been outplayed in the preseason by not only the other cornerbacks on the roster, but by every other defender, according to PFF's metrics, which is why the Browns are comfortable moving forward with Jamar Taylor, Jason McCourty and Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
Of course, in a league where cornerbacks are among the most sought-after players after quarterback and pass rusher, there will no doubt be interest in Haden's services. The Eagles and Steelers are two teams that come to mind, though it's hard to imagine that either will take on Haden's burdensome contract.