The Cleveland Browns released Joe Haden Wednesday morning, and we can’t rule the San Francisco 49ers out of the picture for him. General manager John Lynch was on KNBR this morning, and he had some interesting comments about Haden. We’ll have more from his interview later today, but in the meantime, Matt Maiocco had this from the interview:
John Lynch (on @knbr) said of Joe Haden: “We’ve been watching Joe for a while…We will always try to improve our team when we feel we can."— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) August 30, 2017
Lynch said he has not spoken to Kyle Shanahan since Haden was released this morning. Said he’ll speak with Shanahan shortly on that topic.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) August 30, 2017
Haden is a vested veteran (at least four accrued seasons), which means he does not have to go through the waivers process. Starting at 1 p.m. PT, he’ll be free to sign with any team he wants. And given some of the early names mentioned, I would be surprised if he ended up with the 49ers.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers have both put in calls to Haden’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Adam Schefter followed up by reporting that the Steelers are the current favorite.
It makes a lot of sense for Haden to end up with a playoff contender. He’ll want a reasonable contract, but having come into the league before the rookie wage scale, he’s done well for himself financially. He can potentially sacrifice a bigger deal from a team out of the playoff picture for a decent pay day with a playoff contender. He likely has to do some visits, but it would not surprise me if a deal was done with a team before the end of tonight.