Updated: Mar 9, 2022
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
It appears that Joe Haden is looking forward to the start of free agency. Haden tweeted on Monday night, "7 days and counting." The NFL legal tampering period starts in a week, so that's what Haden was referring to. Free agency officially starts on March 16.
Haden turns 33 years old next month, and while he's still a serviceable cornerback, the Steelers shouldn't overpay for him. Pro Football Focus projects a one-year, $5 million deal for Haden that is fully guaranteed, while Bleacher Report thinks Haden is worth a 2-year, $13 million deal, with $4 million guaranteed.
If the Steelers have to pick between the two in free agency, I would rather see the Steelers go with the younger option in Ahkhello Witherspoon. Witherspoon is only 27 and was the Steelers' best cornerback at the end of last year. Regardless, cornerback is a big need for the Steelers in this year's draft. If Haden wants to come back on a cheap deal, the Steelers should re-sign him. However, his best days are behind him, and overpaying him wouldn't be a wise decision.
Haden had an interesting tweet late Tuesday night about the Seahawks releasing longtime inside linebacker Bobby Wagner.
"If it can happen 2 a 7x ALL PRO… still playing like a 7x ALL PRO …. It can HAPPEN to ANYBODY!" Haden said. "It’s a business… we are chess pieces… not MAD JUST GOTTA HIP YOU TO REALITY! They Love you til they don’t!"
While I'm just speculating, it seems like Haden knows that the Steelers are not going to re-sign him. That's just where it seems like it's heading. Haden wanted a contract extension during last season and the Steelers denied it. He also made a social media post suggesting that the Steelers-Browns Week 17 game was going to be his last game at Heinz Field. I think Haden wants more than what the Steelers are willing to give. Also, remember, his agent is Drew Rosenhaus.