We are back again with part 36 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.
Let’s take a look at the Pro-Bowl corner:
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 195 lbs
Draft: 1st round 8th overall 2010 (Browns)
1 Forced Fumble
1 Fumble Recovery
17 Passes Defended
65 Total Tackles
3 Tackles for Loss
Expires in 2021
$9,625,000 salary cap number (4.8% of total cap)
$8,575,000 Dead money
$1,050,000 Savings if cut
Likelihood of making the roster
Lock. Joe Haden has been a breath of fresh air at the cornerback position since his arrival in 2017. He’s continued to play at an elite level and had one of his best seasons in 2019. His big contract number and his minimal savings makes Haden as close to a lock as you can find on this roster.
I think Joe Haden will have another high end season in 2020. He’s healthy and hungry, and I don't believe we will see much, if not any, drop off in his game. His 5 interceptions might be hard to replicate, however, the defense is so good that quite a few passes will be forced and thrown earlier then quarterbacks will want.
Steven Nelson has also shown that he can be the Steelers top corner if it’s needed, meaning Joe Haden should never have to follow a teams #1 Wide-Out around the field, and will see some better matchups because of it.
2 Fumble Recoveries
15 Passes Defended
72 Total Tackles
4 Tackles for Loss
Joe Haden’s second Steelers contract expires at the conclusion of the 2021 season, and I think it’s fair to imagine he comes back for another season or two.
His addition to the defensive backfield signaled a change in identity for Steelers management. After years of struggling to find defensive back talent through the draft, Kevin Colbert and company turned to different means to adding to the position. Including signing Steven Nelson to the richest free agent deal in Steelers history and trading a first round pick, for the first time in over 50 years for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
If Joe Haden plays another three or four years at this level and possibly picks up a ring, I think there may be a spot in Canton, Ohio for the corner.
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Ulysees Gilbert III