The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly working on a deal to extend cornerback, Joe Haden. How much money should the Steelers be willing to give him?
The Steelers made an excellent move by signing Joe Haden after the Browns released him before the start of the 2017 season. Since signing with Pittsburgh, Haden has been the teams’ number one cornerback, and has provided perhaps the most consistent play of any player in the Steelers secondary.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN recently reported that the Steelers are entering contract negations with the 10th-year cornerback:
Steelers and corner Joe Haden are making progress on a two-year contract extension, per source. Both sides have exchanged proposals. The two-time Pro Bowler is due $10 million in the last year of his deal, and the team could rework that year and extend him through 2021.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 5, 2019
The Steelers are looking at giving Haden a two-year extension that would likely have him playing the remainder of his career in Pittsburgh. But how much should they be willing to pay Joe Haden?
Haden turned 30 years old this past April, and it’s probably safe to say that his best football is behind him. He was a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, but is now going on five years removed from his most recent Pro Bowl appearance.
Haden earned a respectable 70.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season, but was just the 37th ranked cornerback from their assessment. Haden is set to earn $11.9M in 2019, and will likely be looking at numbers in the same ball park with his extension.
With cornerback shelf-life and the science behind decline age, it may not be worth paying him that much to play into his 30’s. We have seen how fast a player like Darrelle Revis fell off at age 31 and 32 before retiring. It is possible Haden could follow suit.
The Steelers should also consider the cornerbacks that could be available in free agency next season. It’s possible Pittsburgh could land a younger, cheaper option at the cornerback position without sacrificing anything on the field:
— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 5, 2019
On the other hand, Haden has been a staple in helping to turn their secondary around the past two years. Ben Roethlisberger only has a couple seasons left in the tank, and keeping a veteran cornerback around is probably the right move.
The Steelers could certainly use Joe Haden’s services in a Super Bowl window, but young players like Javon Hargrave are also looking for new deals. Let’s hope this contract extension doesn’t cost the Steelers too much moving forward.