One of the challenges for the Browns if they ever want to get out of their perpetual rebuild is to find a coaching staff and a front office that both A) qualified for those roles, and B) on the same page.
And even if Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown turn out to be A, it seems they’re far from B at the moment.
The move might have made financial sense, clearing Haden’s $11 million off the books after they ate $16 million to buy a second-round pick and a few months of Brock Osweiler hanging around. But from a football perspective, it made far less, since Haden’s still a productive player, and was quickly signed (with no compensation) by the Steelers.
But you don’t really need secret sources for this one, as Jackson made his feelings clear before the move was even made.
“I trust [executive] Sashi [Brown] and his group to make the right decisions that I think is best for our football team,” Jackson said before Haden was released. “Do I want Joe Haden on our football team? Yes, but whatever our organization thinks is best for our football team, that’s what we’ll do. . . .
“He’s played well in our games. So he’s a huge piece of what we do on defense and we’ll just keep moving from there. You guys catch me when I’m coming off the field with all these things that I know nothing about, so let’s stay after it.”
While Haden may not have been the difference in getting to the playoffs this year, he’d have certainly made them better. But if Jackson and Brown can’t make decisions that are palatable to both sides, it may be a long time before they have to worry about that anyway.