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Joe Haden released by Browns and free to sign with any team (including the Eagles)

Should the Eagles sign Joe Haden?

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Haden trade rumors didn’t last very long. The Cleveland Browns cut the 28-year-old cornerback on Wednesday morning so now Haden is a free agent available to sign with any team.

So, should the Philadelphia Eagles be interested?

I previously wrote the Eagles should not trade for Haden due to the fact they’d have to give up an asset in order to acquire him and his terrible contract. But now that he’s available to sign, he’d make more sense for Philadelphia.

With that said, I still don’t think Haden makes a ton of sense for the Eagles. People get caught up in recognizing a big name and ignore the fact that he hasn’t been good recently.

Haden, who turns 29 after this season, doesn’t figure to be a long-term solution at cornerback for the Eagles. Comments from Browns fans over at Dawgs By Nature indicate he’s not the same player he once was at his best. For what it’s worth, Haden ranked 88th out of 110 corners graded by Pro Football Focus last year. Opposing quarterbacks had a 97.7 passer rating when targeting Haden, which ranked 71st at his position.

Here’s some additional information on Haden from PFF.

However, since signing the deal, Haden’s play has declined and nagging injuries have kept him from consistent play. 2016 was Haden’s worst year as a pro. He gave up a league-high six touchdowns, and allowed 1.48 yards per coverage snap, the league’s 12th-highest mark among cornerbacks. Haden’s performance this preseason has continued the downward trend. Through three preseason games, Haden has allowed 1.61 yards per coverage snap, and a passer rating of 104.6, both the highest marks among Browns cornerbacks with at least 30 coverage snaps.

Haden’s just not that good anymore ... which is why he got cut. The Browns had the second most cap space in the league before cutting Haden. This move wasn’t only about needing more money.

Speaking of the financial aspect, any money the Eagles use on Haden eats into the $12.5 million in cap space they have this year. That means less money to spend on re-signing impending free agents after this season such as Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan, Nigel Bradham, Trey Burton, etc. It sounds like there will be an active market for Haden, which means he won’t be signed for cheap.

The Eagles are far from stacked at corner, but they have a bunch of young and intriguing options. Projected 2017 starters Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are both 23 years old. Third-round pick Rasul Douglas is 22 and has potential. The 21-year-old Sidney Jones might not play much this year but he could figure to be a key part of the team’s future.

Is Haden better than a guy like Patrick Robinson? If you’re comparing how they play on the outside, maybe, but the gap might not be that big given Haden’s struggles in recent years. And Robinson has the versatility to play in the slot.

I really don’t expect the Eagles to sign Haden. I don’t think he presents a significant upgrade relative to the cost. He’s the kind of “band aid” player that Howie Roseman said the Eagles were looking to avoid earlier this offseason.


Should the Eagles sign Joe Haden?

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