News

Browns release DB Joe Haden

Posted Aug 30, 2017

Two-time Pro Bowler had been with Cleveland since 2010

The Cleveland Browns have terminated the contract of DB Joe Haden.

“We want to thank Joe for all he has done for this organization both on and off the field,” said Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown. “He has been a great teammate and a true asset to the Cleveland community. These are very difficult decisions, we have the utmost respect for Joe and in my eyes, he will always be a Cleveland Brown.”

Haden joined the Browns as a first-round pick in 2010 and was selected to two Pro Bowls. He appeared in 90 games with 81 starts. He logged 376 tackles, 101 passes defensed, 19 interceptions, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. Last season, he started all 13 games he appeared and totaled 48 tackles, 11 passes defensed and tied for the team-lead with three interceptions.

In 2015, Haden was named Special Olympics’ Global Ambassador, becoming the first professional football player to ever hold that distinction. Among his many charitable endeavors in the Cleveland area, Haden hosted numerous youth football camps and made multiple sizable donations to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

“Joe gave everything he had for the Cleveland Browns and that’s all you can ask for as a coach,” said Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson. “He was a leader on and off the field. I wish him all the best as he continues his career.”

A post shared by joehaden23 (@joehaden23) on

A Fort Washington, Maryland, native, Haden was a four-year quarterback in high school but starred for three seasons as a cornerback at the University of Florida. The Browns made him the seventh overall pick, first among defensive backs, in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Haden started seven games as a rookie and made an immediate impact, intercepting six passes, including four in consecutive weeks. He was named to multiple all-rookie teams and led the team in passes defensed. He rode that momentum in 2011, when he started 15 games and played a key role in Cleveland's No. 2-ranked pass defense. He ranked sixth in the NFL passes defensed and landed a spot on USA Today's "All-Joe team" for unheralded prime performers.

Haden's first Pro Bowl campaign came in 2013, when he intercepted four passes, picked up his first career pick-six and logged a career-high 21 passes defensed. He was at his best against some of the NFL's top receivers, holding Detroit's Calvin Johnson to three catches for 25 yards and limiting Cincinnati's A.J. Green to two catches for 7 yards, neither of which were against his coverage.

Haden was similarly strong in 2014, another Pro Bowl campaign that also began and ended with him as one of the Browns' team captains. Haden led the team and finished second in the NFL with 20 passes defensed and once again had a vice grip on Green, who had three catches for 23 yards in a dominant Cleveland victory.

Haden was afflicted by multiple injuries in 2015, including a concussion and broken finger. In 2016, he served as a team captain and battled through injuries en route to 15 starts and three interceptions. He was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award, which is given annually to one player on each NFL team who exemplifies courage, compassion, commitment and community.

Recent Headlines