Joe Haden opens the season in a familiar place but with a different team. It won’t feel like home when runs out of the visitors locker room at FirstEnergy Stadium.
After playing 90 games with the Browns over seven seasons, Haden signed with the Steelers on Aug. 30 after Cleveland cut him.
“I’m just trying to be able to come to another squad and get to know where the training room is, where the locker room is, where the meeting rooms are, getting to know the playbook and getting to know the players,” Haden said in a conference call with Browns reporters, via Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “When you miss camp, that is really when the team gets to bond and grow so missing out on that, just interacting with the guys.”
Haden, 28, said he remains “the best corner in the division.” Now healthy again, he expects to prove it.
“This year I’m expecting to be back, healthy, feeling good and ready to go,” Haden said. “It was just a business decision that they made that the salary wasn’t matching up to my last two years of production. That is really how they felt so they decided that they wanted to cut my salary.”
The Browns asked Haden to reduce his $11 million base salary after he missed 11 games in 2015 and three last season. Haden declined, and now he’s a Steeler.
“I definitely feel as if I still have it,” he said. “No hard feelings with anybody.”