UPDATE: The Browns have reportedly cut Joe Haden, the Browns announced via Twitter on Wednesday.
BOSTON (CBS) — A big name in the AFC could be on the trading block, and it could make things harder for the Patriots if he moved. The Cleveland Browns are reportedly working “aggressively” to trade two-time Pro-Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora first reported the Browns’ shopping of Haden on Tuesday via Twitter, adding that Cleveland is “very motivated” to get Haden’s contract off the books. Haden is due $11.1 million in both 2017 and 2018, and $10.4 million in 2019, according to Spotrac. He will be the league’s fifth-highest-paid cornerback in 2017.
Haden, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, has not played up to his usual standards in recent years. He played only five games in 2015 due to a concussion, and played 13 games in 2016 but earned a poor grade of 46 from Pro Football Focus.
Though Haden may not quite be the player he was when he entered the league, the 28-year-old may still be able to contribute as an effective cover corner and could benefit from a change of scenery. Though it’s highly unlikely the Patriots would make such a move, one of their conference rivals could. The Texans, Raiders, and Titans have the cap space and relative need at corner to potentially trade for Haden, which could make the Patriots’ road through the AFC a little bit tougher.
Between Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, and Eric Rowe, the Patriots appear pretty set at corner.