Six years after last suiting up for the Browns, Joe Haden could soon be returning to Cleveland, after all. The three-time Pro Bowl cornerback, unsigned since his Steelers contract expired in March, posted a picture of himself in a Browns uniform on Instagram this week, indicating he and the team have had a “discussion” about his NFL future. Haden, who previously teased a potential reunion in May by sharing pictures of both his Browns and Steelers jerseys, spent the last five years in Pittsburgh.
The Browns aren’t necessarily thin at cornerback, with Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II and Greedy Williams atop the depth chart. (Ward just this offseason signed a five-year, $100 million extension to become one of the game’s highest-paid players.) After trading veteran reserve Troy Hill back to the Rams during the draft, however, Cleveland could be looking for additional experience off the bench. Both Ward and Williams are recovering from injuries ahead of training camp.
Haden, 33, was originally a first-round pick of the Browns in 2010, going seventh overall out of Florida. He emerged as a Pro Bowl cover man for the team, spending the first seven seasons of his career in town. Injuries limited him over his final two years with the Browns, but Haden rebounded after joining the rival Steelers in 2017, starring as Pittsburgh’s top corner for several high-ranked defenses and posting one of the best interception totals (5) of his career in 2019. He missed five games in 2021, his last with the Steelers, due to an ankle injury.