The San Francisco 49ers are “very much in [the] mix” for free agent cornerback Joe Haden, according to CBS Sports NFL reporter Jason La Canfora. While sometimes La Canfora can be all over the place, he was first on it with regard to Haden being on the outs in Cleveland.
Earlier today, 49ers GM John Lynch said he would talk to Kyle Shanahan about Haden when they got together today. Lynch said the 49ers had “been watching Joe for a while” and are always looking to improve the roster when an opportunity presents itself.
Haden is likely going to end up with a playoff contender, but the 49ers do have things they can offer. The first is money. The 49ers have the kind of cap space to give him virtually anything he might want. The second is familiarity. 49ers defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley coached the Browns secondary in 2014 and 2015. We don’t know what Haden’s relationship was like with Hafley, but it could be a point in the 49ers favor. And of course, Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator in Cleveland in 2014, so he and Haden likely crossed paths at least once in a while.
There’s really nothing to lose giving Haden a call and seeing what he’s looking for in a new team. He can sign somewhere starting at 1 p.m. PT, so it will be interesting to see how quickly he gets something done. Pittsburgh is viewed by many as the favorite, but La Canfora also reported that the Saints, Eagles, and Chiefs are all in the mix. We’ll see how quickly playoff opportunities and money talk.