This morning, the Cleveland Browns released star cornerback Joe Haden, saving the team paying his $11.1 million salary. The Browns brass believes Haden is oft-injured and is a depreciating asset. He played only 5 games in 2015, while suffering through a finger injury and a concussion. In 2016, he missed three games and played through two groin issues that demanded surgery after the season.
Haden isn’t subject to waivers and is able to sign with a team after 4pm today. That being established, could the Atlanta Falcons stand to benefit from Haden’s services?
The starting cornerbacks of Desomd Trufant and Robert Alford are solid. Although, Alford has had a penchant for committing the pass interference penalty every now and again last season. During the preseason, their top two corners have performed well. After Trufant and Alford, there has been significant dropoff in performance. Jalen Collins is suspended 10 games, C.J. Goodwin, Deji Olatoye, Jarnor Jones, Akeem King and Blidi Wreh-Wilson have been poor or average at best.
The reasons to pass on Haden are his $11.1 million salary and his injury record. It is reasonable to ask, “If Joe Haden is this good, why did the Browns release him?”
The verdict: the Falcons should pass on Joe Haden. He can’t stay on the field even though he is talented, has great speed and ball skills. Expect the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs or the Dallas Cowboys to kick the tires.