You don’t want to look ahead too much, but the Pittsburgh Steelers pending free agent class after the 2019 season is long and has some big names on it. One of those names would be cornerback Joe Haden.
Haden, who is 30 years old, has one year remaining left on his current deal with the Steelers, but doesn’t want to think about free agency. He wants to retire a member of the black-and-gold.
This from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
Joe Haden, 30, has one more year on his deal and wants to retire a Steeler. No talks yet about an extension but Haden is ready for them.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 12, 2019
Haden is due to account for $11,916,668 towards this year’s salary cap, and the Steelers giving him a new contract would help alleviate this number.
But do the Steelers want to invest in Haden after the age of 30?
Since being drafted in 2010, Haden has only played in all 16 regular season games once his his career, and that was his rookie season with the Cleveland Browns. Four times in his career he has missed just one game and played in 15 others. Still, longevity is a serious concern when an organization is considering opening its check book to give a player a new contract.
What about the other players on the roster? Steven Nelson signed a 3-year deal in free agency, Cameron Sutton is still under contract for two more seasons and the team just drafted Justin Layne, an outside cornerback, in the 2019 NFL Draft. None of these players are the next coming of Rod Woodson, but the organization has put the potential pieces in place for life without Haden.
There is something to be said about a player who wants to stay with their respective team. I can only think of a handful of players who have come to Pittsburgh and adapted so quickly. Kevin Greene and Jerome Bettis immediately come to mind, but Haden wouldn’t be far off. As his teammate Vince Williams said, Haden should have been in the black-and-gold his entire career.
If you are reading this and thinking that since the team hasn’t started any type of discussions is bad news, you shouldn’t fret. These type of negotiations typically don’t start till closer to training camp, if not the regular season. Plus, the organization has some other issues, like Mike Hilton’s lingering status, to handle before talks with Haden come about.
Should the Steelers look to extend Haden? Or should they thank him for his time, and part ways with the veteran? Let us know in the comment section below!