The Browns are making a long-term commitment to Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.
Haden, who has been with the Browns since they chose him with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, has agreed to a new contract that will keep him in Cleveland through the 2019 season. A league source tells PFT that the deal includes a $14 million signing bonus, $22 million fully guaranteed at signing and another $23 million guaranteed for injury. The signing bonus, the full guarantee and the amount guaranteed for injury all surpass the deal that Richard Sherman just signed with Seattle.
It’s a big move for the Browns, and one that should bolster the optimism in Cleveland generated by the Browns’ draft, which netted cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round.
Haden has played well in Cleveland since Day One, and although he’ll be adjusting to a new defense with new coach Mike Pettine, the Browns apparently have no doubt that he’s one of the players they want to build their team around. He’s a talented player, and having just turned 25 last month, he should have many good years left in Cleveland.
Despite the circus that was the start of their offseason, and the recent report that star receiver Josh Gordon is facing a potential drug suspension, there are a lot of reasons to like what the Browns are doing right now. Getting Haden locked up is one more reason to think the Browns might finally be building a winner.