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The Joe Haden Signing: So this is what a free agent splash feels like, huh?

With the ultra-quick signing of cornerback Joe Haden, the Steelers became free agent winners five months later than most teams usually do.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, it was dark at 3 p.m. in certain parts of the United States, thanks to the solar eclipse.

That was a once-in-a-lifetime event, but not for me because I was in Pittsburgh and not really in the "totality" portion of the eclipse.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, it's also a place where, if you're a Steelers fan, you don't really know what it's like to feel that winner’s bump that normally accompanies the annual, March free-agent frenzy among teams vying for the top players available.

So this is what it feels like, huh?

Yes, I'm speaking of the Steelers sudden signing of accomplished cornerback Joe Haden on Wednesday, mere hours after he was released by the Browns.

Admit it, when you heard that Haden would be free to shop his services with any team starting at 4 p.m., you didn't truly think the Steelers would be a serious contender in those sweepstakes.

I mean, this isn't what the Steelers do, right? This team isn’t supposed to make lightning-quick deals for high-priced free agents little more than one week before Opening Day.

Maybe that's why it's fitting that this happened in August, a time when teams usually go dumpster-diving for recently-released players—the exact opposite of the free-agent bidding wars that take place in March.

I don't know what the Steelers did to sell Haden on coming to Pittsburgh, but apparently not remaining on the Browns and having a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl were two compelling points.

Obviously, the terms of the Haden contract— the reported $27 million over three years —also played a huge factor in his coming to Pittsburgh. That also makes me happy.

Why? Because I doubt the Steelers ever would have pulled the trigger on such a deal and invested so heavily if they thought Haden was damaged goods or on the backside of his career, one that includes two trips to the Pro Bowl.

Yes, Haden's last Pro Bowl was in 2014, but that might simply be because his career was derailed by injuries the past two years, forcing him to miss a combined 14 games.

And even if Haden at 28 isn't the player he was three years ago, he has to be an upgrade over Ross Cockrell and Coty Sensabaugh.

I hate to speak in absolutes (a staple of the March free-agent frenzy), but this move just makes the Steelers secondary so much better.

It bumps Cockrell and Sensabaugh down the depth-chart (if they're lucky) and perhaps clears the way for some youngster—namely Cam Sutton or Mike Hilton—to jump up and claim the nickel spot from veteran William Gay.

Anyway, I'll let better football people than me figure that stuff out.

All I know is, the Steelers had one glaring weakness, and they went out and addressed it in a big way. In doing so, they've gone from a Super Bowl contender, to a Super Bowl contender with a much better shot at beating teams with franchise quarterbacks (and those are the teams you usually face in January).

Yes, it's August, and I'm feeling super-excited about a Steelers free-agent acquisition.

I’d better put on my special glasses.