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August 30, 2017

Should the Eagles have interest in CB Joe Haden?

Eagles NFL

According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns have released cornerback Joe Haden, who carried a cap hit in 2017 of $14.4 million.

Haden is entering his eighth year in the NFL. He has two Pro Bowls (2013, 2014) to his credit, and one second-team All Pro nod (2013). However, he has not been the same player over the last two seasons, though he did display toughness and love of the game by playing through the pain of a groin injury on the worst team in the NFL last season. 

While still reasonably aged at 28, many believe that Haden is on the downside of his career. The fact that the Browns couldn't get so much as a late round pick for him shows that the rest of the NFL did not think he was worth his $11 million base salary.

Because he is a very recognizable name, writers for 31 other teams will be publishing "Should (Team X) be interested in Joe Haden" articles, but he is no longer among the NFL's top tier of cornerbacks.

While the Eagles' cornerback situation isn't ideal this season, it is potentially set up for long-term success. Their top four cornerbacks, in terms of importance to the long-term interests of the team, are all 23 years of age or younger:

  1. Sidney Jones, 21
  2. Ronald Darby, 23
  3. Jalen Mills, 23
  4. Rasul Douglas, 22 

As such, Haden would be little more than a short-term Band Aid, and an expensive one at that for a team that only has roughly $12 million in salary cap space. With potential contract extensions for players like Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, and Jordan Hicks on the horizon, the Eagles badly need to roll that cap space over into 2018.

Would Haden improve the Eagles' corner situation in 2017? Sure, but to spend their limited financial resources on a player who is no longer special would be a bad long-term use of financial resources.

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