The final preseason game of the season for all 32 team is this Thursday, and that will be followed by final roster cuts on Saturday. Teams are likely to make some cuts before then, and we can also expect some trades over the next few days as teams look to get down to 53 players.
The Cleveland Browns might be looking to do some dealing in the coming days. Jason La Canfora tweeted on Tuesday that he is, “hearing from multiple teams that the Browns are aggressively trying to trade CB Joe Haden.” He said the Browns are “very motivated” to move Haden’s contract.
Haden signed a five-year, $67.5 million contract extension in 2014. Per Over The Cap, he received $16 million in signing bonus money, with significant salary guarantees for 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2017, he is due $11.1 million, with $4 million of that fully guaranteed. His 2018 and 2019 salaries are $11.1 million and $10.4 million, respectively. He also has $100,000 in workout bonuses each of the next two years.
The San Francisco 49ers are looking at different ways to upgrade their roster, but would they spend the kind of money and potential draft pick compensation it would take to add Haden? His play does not seem quite to the level of the salary commitment, and injuries are a regular problem with him. He played 13 games last season and five the season before, and in fact, has not played all 16 games in a season since his rookie year.
The 49ers cornerback depth chart currently includes Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson outside, and K’Waun Williams as the nickel back. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon is competing with veteran Keith Reaser for backup work. Will Redmond is competing with Williams at nickel back, but injuries have kept him sidelined much of the preseason.
Haden in theory is an upgrade at cornerback. However, in execution, his injuries make him a tough sell, and the fact that he is not playing to that salary level doesn’t help. The 49ers would only be on the hook for $4 million in 2017 guaranteed money, and could cut him otherwise with no salary cap implications. But if they are comfortable with the salary and injury risk, it would then come down to the draft pick they’d be willing to give up.
All that in mind, I don’t see the 49ers pushing hard on any kind of deal. The cornerback depth chart needs to improve, but I don’t think Haden is the way to go at this stage in the rebuilding process.