Did the Oakland Raiders miss an opportunity to shore up the secondary by not picking up Joe Haden?
It was reported earlier by multiple media outlets that cornerback Joe Haden had been released by the Cleveland Browns, however, he was not unemployed for very long as Ian Rapoport shared via his Twitter account today.
The #Steelers are signing CB Joe Haden to a 3-year, $27m contract, source said. $7m guaranteed in year 1.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2017
The two-time NFL Pro Bowler will be joining the Pittsburgh Steelers and while we all know general manager Reggie McKenzie has restrained himself from “splashy” moves this offseason, Raider Nation has been left with a big “what if.”
Fact is, as it stands right now the defensive backfield could use some help, especially seeing as how rookie cornerback Gareon Conley is far from ready, yet did anyone truly believe McKenzie would pay that much money? If anything, Raider Nation by now must have known (and all by accounts have accepted the fact) that McKenzie sticks to his plan, why deviate from that plan now? No need to reach for the panic button.
With Conley just getting on the field and the decline of veteran cornerback Sean Smith, the Raiders desperately needed help in the secondary. The only other viable option at cornerback is David Amerson and even he hasn’t matched the lock down ability that Haden has displayed when he’s on the top of his game but all signs point to the Silver and Black looking to Conley to live up to his first round pick status, however, only time will tell.
Steelers CB Joe Haden had bigger offers from other teams that he turned down because he wanted Pittsburgh. Haden a Steeler.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2017
In spite of the optimism, nobody on the current Raiders roster has the on-field production that Haden does in his career. Let’s face it, even as a member of the Cleveland Browns, Haden has produced on the field against the NFL’s most talented wide receivers. Despite the last two years’ dip in production and injury plagued seasons, Haden would have helped the depth of the Raiders secondary that has talented young players like Dexter McDonald and Breon Borders that have minimal experience.
Joe Haden's Career Stats:
4 FF, 4 FR
2x Pro Bowler pic.twitter.com/6vPZpx3usI
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) August 30, 2017