Cleveland Browns: Processing Joe Haden’s release

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns released Joe Haden early Wednesday morning, ending what was a mostly solid career in Cleveland for the fan favorite.

Cleveland Browns fans woke up on Wednesday morning ready to head off to work or perhaps to have a quiet, peaceful day at home. Leave it to the Browns to provide some intrigue to each and every day.

The Browns released Joe Haden this morning, unceremoniously ending a seven-year career in Cleveland that saw the veteran make two Pro Bowls after being drafted seventh overall in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Haden arguably had his best season in Cleveland back in 2010, when he recorded six interceptions and played in all 16 games. His rookie year was the only year in which he played a full season.

Cut to today and Haden has played a combined 18 games in the past two seasons due to several injuries, recording just three interceptions in that span. He went from one of the best corners in all of football to someone who wasn’t worth the $11 million owed to him in 2017.

Players like Jamar Taylor, Jason McCourty and Briean Boddy-Calhoun have played just as well or even better than Haden this preseason, and all factor in as cheaper and more reliable options, at least right now.

Yet even though the move makes sense from a business standpoint, it is still unfortunate to see one of the best Browns players since 1999 be let go in this fashion. I am not advocating for a big celebration before his release, which would just be weird, but it is too bad his last season with the team was the worst in franchise history.

Haden shouldn’t be unemployed for too long, and Browns fans may be seeing him again rather soon.

Imagine that. Joe Haden lining up against Kenny Britt or Corey Coleman in Week 1. The thought makes me sick.

But if his declining play continues, he shouldn’t be too much of a threat if he does end up on the Steelers. Then again, Browns fans know better than to assume such a thing. Joe Haden, future Steelers star could be on his way.

No matter where he goes, fans should appreciate the player who embraced the city even when the team he played for was hard to watch. He played hard when healthy and kept a positive attitude, emerging as a leader early on in his career.

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Thank you, Joe. Just don’t join the Steelers and light up the Browns in Week 1.