Former Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who will experience the thrill of a playoff game Sunday for the first time in his eight-year NFL career, couldn’t help but take a little jab at his former team for letting him go.
“They were going to pay Brock Osweiler $16 million and he’s not even on the team (after being cut by the Browns on Sept. 1) and they wanted to cut money from me!” he told Sports Illustrated this week as his 13-3 Steelers prepare to host the Jaguars.
According to Haden, former Browns general manager Sashi Brown told Haden in August that he was no longer a top five corner, and asked him to take a payout from his $11.1 million base salary. Instead, Haden asked to be released, and Brown obliged — 11 days before the season opener against the Steelers, who snatched him up immediately.
Haden jumped at the Cheap nfl Jerseys chance to play for his former arch-rivals, signing a three-year deal worth $27 million.
“They’re dumb — that’s Cleveland,” Steelers safety Mike Mitchell told si.com. “You can’t find a top-10 corner in September; that just doesn’t happen. He was the final piece.”
On Thursday, Haden, who keeps in touch with his friends on the Browns, also told espn.com that the Perfect Season parade was “really lame.”
“It is what it is,” Haden said. “I feel like if you want to be that miserable and go have an 0-16 parade, then have fun.
“I just think it’s lame. I think they went 0-16, the organization and everybody is not happy with it. I feel like the fans, they’re not going to be happy about celebrating an 0-16 parade. I just think it’s really lame.”
The week before the Steelers’ 28-24 victory over the Browns in the season finale, Haden told The Pittsburgh Tribune Review, “I’m just excited this isn’t my last game of the year.”
He added, “once I got Customized Cleveland Browns jerseys released by Cleveland, I just knew that I had a bright future ahead of me.”
Haden also said, “it’s a blessing to be here on this team going into the playoffs. If I was still there, I would have been still playing the same amount: hard, giving it everything I got. I could easily be in that position.
“I’m here, not doing anything different but it’s a completely different outcome. My skill set, (the Browns) felt like they didn’t need any more. But here, it’s accepted and appreciated, and I couldn’t be any happier.”
Steelers center Maurice Pouncey couldn’t believe his former Gators teammate dropped into the team’s lap.
“We all still think it’s crazy that he’s on our team, like, ‘Y’all let go of Joe Haden?’ ” he said. “The way he works, the way he carries himself, you can only appreciate that type of guy. I think he’s changed this team dynamic defensively. Honestly, it’s unreal. You don’t see those types of moves in the NFL. When you do, it’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that happened.”’