Joe Haden An Unlikely Candidate To Join The Raiders

UPDATE: CB Joe Haden released by the Cleveland Browns

With Haden now free to sign with anyone, are the Raiders likely to get into the mix to acquire him? Who knows, but here are a few things to keep in mind.

The Browns reportedly asked Haden to take a pay cut before releasing him. At the very least, that should calm some of the injury concerns around him. If the Browns didn’t think he could still play, they probably wouldn’t have gone the route of trying to keep him for less.

The fact that the Browns released Haden means no one was willing to offer even a seventh-round pick for him. Hopefully that says more about his hefty contract than it does about his abilities on the field.

Anyone willing to sign Haden will hope that with injuries (hopefully) behind him, the Pro Bowl cornerback can bounce back to his old form. Pro Football Focus actually graded Haden as one of the worst starting cornerbacks in the league over the past two years.

As the Raiders are concerned, it feels like they might be comfortable starting Gareon Conley and David Amerson at the corners with Sean Smith and/or T.J. Carrie on the field in passing situations. Maybe general manager Reggie McKenzie will dabble with depth at cornerback after roster cuts, but taking the plunge on Haden (although it could potentially come cheap) seems like a long shot.

Haden is an east coast guy, but obviously the real draw to Oakland would be the opportunity to play for a contender. Would he take less money to play for a contender?

Whatever the case, Haden is expected to sign within the next 24 hours and his status certainly becomes relevant if he signs within the division.


With a report on Tuesday that the Browns are very motivated to trade cornerback Joe Haden, many (myself included) began simulating his path to the Raiders.

In some respects it made sense. The Raiders have legitimate concerns in the secondary and Haden would be an immediate upgrade.

The rest of the details are where it gets complicated.

First, Reggie McKenzie doesn’t like to trade picks. Cleveland may be “motivated” but they’ll want a solid pick for a good, albeit often injured, cornerback.

Secondly, Haden carries an $11.1 million base salary to whatever destination is chosen for him. The Raiders could actually squeeze Haden under the cap, but they’d face a similar financial dilemma next season. General manager Reggie McKenzie is probably of the mindset that he has enough bills to pay going forward – and he’s always preferred to build through the draft.

Lastly, the Raiders have already devoted tremendous resources to their cornerbacks. Sean Smith has the highest salary on the Raiders defense and David Amerson is third. McKenzie also devoted his first-round pick to the position and the Raiders expect Gareon Conley to play a key role right out of the gate.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Raiders add a defensive starter within the next week, but cornerback probably won’t be where it happens.

twitter: @raidersbeat


2 thoughts on “Joe Haden An Unlikely Candidate To Join The Raiders

  1. PFF is a waste of time. I don’t know why anyone still visits their site, other than to get a good laugh. Maybe Haden hasn’t been good, but they ranked Amerson & Smith highly last year & neither were any good.

    As for RM not liking to trade his picks, although, I know he no longer has to in this situation, he should be more willing to do so. He doesn’t know how to use them. If he had half a clue how to draft (come on, Carr, Mack & Cooper were gimmes & Tice is the reason we draft OL well), the D wouldn’t be in this mess. He keeps drafting untalented LBs & project DL, then we’re shocked those players don’t pan out. Conley has been nothing but a distraction & headache. Holding those picks isn’t worth ruining the season.

  2. Been a raiders fan for 42 years & they screwed up again by not signing Joe Haden. The secondary will stop them from making the super bowl. So disappointing!!!

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