Steelers' Joe Haden Seeking Contract Extension, Wants to Finish Career in Pittsburgh

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Joe Haden #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball for a touchdown  after intercepting a pass during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 1, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Cornerback Joe Haden is seeking an extension from the Pittsburgh Steelers as he heads into the final season of his two-year, $22.4 million contract

"Joe wants to finish his career with the Steelers if possible," Drew Rosenhaus, Haden's agent, told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

Haden, 32, has spent the past four years in Pittsburgh after starting his career with seven seasons as a member of the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection is coming off a 2020 campaign where he recorded 52 total tackles, 12 passes defended, two interceptions and a touchdown across 14 games. He received a solid, albeit unspectacular, 66.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

He ranks fifth in the NFL with 29 interceptions since he entered the league as a first-round pick in the 2010 draft out of the University of Florida.

Haden confirmed Monday he wanted to remain with the Steelers but understood the front office's desire to first get a new deal done with superstar edge-rusher T.J. Watt.

"I would rather have a contract [for] more than this year because I want to end my career here," he told Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. "We will see what happens, but we want to get T.J. Watt signed first, obviously. He's the main priority."

Haden figures to play a crucial role for the Pittsburgh defense in 2021 with the team's other top two corners from last season, Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson, having departed in free agency to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.

Given that, the Maryland native could bet on himself putting together a strong statistical season and command one more lucrative contract next offseason in free agency.

Instead, it sounds like Haden would prefer an extension now to remain with the Steelers until he's ready to hang up his cleats for good.

Pittsburgh, which posted a 12-4 record in 2020, kicks off the regular season Sept. 12 when it visits the Buffalo Bills in a high-profile AFC showdown.