Greatest defensive backs in Cleveland Browns history: #5. Joe Haden
Like most of the really talented players on the Browns since their return in 1999, Joe Haden never had the luxury of a good team around him.
He was taken No. 7 overall out of Florida in 2010 and he never had a winning season with them. His rookie season was a 5-11 campaign. The only season he ever tasted more wins with the team that drafted him was in 2014 when the Browns went 7-9.
Even with the struggles around him, Haden proved to be well worth the high price paid in the draft. As a rookie, he held his own with 57 tackles and what remains a career-high six interceptions. He did this despite starting just seven games. He didn’t get as many picks after that, but he continued to perform well while facing opposing teams’ No. 1 wideouts.
Entering his fourth season, Haden had inserted himself into the discussion as one of the better cover men in the NFL. He finished that year with 54 tackles and four interceptions, while also recording his first career defensive touchdown.
He was named to the Pro Bowl as well as the Second-Team All-Pro. This led to the defensive back landing a five-year extension with $45 million guaranteed and a total of up to $65 million.
Eventually, the Browns decided that they needed to save some money and attempted to get Haden to take a pay cut. Former general manager Sashi Brown was all about his analytics and decided to cut Haden to save some money. His cost-saving moves led to a 0-16 record, while Haden went on to join the hated Pittsburgh Steelers.