Four years ago, Joe Haden was released by the team that selected him in the first round of the 2010 draft. A two-time Pro Bowl cornerback with the Browns, Haden was barely on the open market before he signed a three-year deal with the Steelers, who extended Haden’s contract two years ago.
As he enters his fifth season in Pittsburgh and final year under contract, Haden’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has asked the Steelers about an extension for his client, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Joe wants to finish his career with the Steelers if possible,” Rosenhaus said.
Haden’s $11 million yearly salary makes him the 14th highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, according to Over the Cap. While he is surely not trying to be one of the league’s top five highest-paid corners (the Dolphins’ Byron Jones is the fifth-highest paid corner at $16.5 million), Haden is likely pursuing an extension that would get him closer to the $13 million to $14 million range. William Jackson III’s recent deal with Washington (that pays him $13.5 million annually) makes him the league’s 10th highest-paid cornerback.
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The 32-year-old Haden has been the Steelers’ top cornerback each of the last four seasons. He played an integral role in Pittsburgh’s defense finishing fifth in the league in fewest passing yards allowed in 2017 and third over the past two seasons. Haden earned his third Pro Bowl nod in 2019 after recording five interceptions (his highest total since his rookie season), 17 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble.
While he is hoping for a new extension, Haden understands that the Steelers’ current priority is addressing T.J. Watt’s contract. Watt, last season’s runner-up for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is entering the final year of his contract after the team picked up his fifth-year option last spring. The Steelers will also surely look to lock up All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (who is entering the third year of his rookie contract) sometime in the near future.
“It is a real tight situation right now and we are trying to figure it out,” Haden said of the Steelers’ contract situations during a recent interview with Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “We have priority levels here so I have to see what happens with my boy T.J. first.”