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Joe Haden returns to the Browns, with a shocking retirement twist

Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns

Just three years removed from a Pro Bowl selection with the Pittsburgh Steelers, cornerback Joe Haden has announced his retirement from the NFL. Haden played 12 years in the league, garnering three Pro Bowl selections in total (2013, 2014, and 2019). And as an ultimate form of gratitude that goes both ways, Haden will be returning to the franchise where he began his respectable career, the Cleveland Browns.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Joe Haden will be signing a one-day contract with the Browns to retire with the team, with his agent confirming his decision to hang up the cleats.

Haden is only 33 years old, which makes his decision to end his career a surprising one to say the least. While Haden’s definitely in the downturn of his career, he still could have chosen to sign for a contending team to pursue a championship in the twilight of his career, as he can definitely provide much-needed leadership and defensive spark. In fact, Buffalo Bills edge rusher Von Miller admitted to recruiting Haden back in April, but clearly Haden had other plans for where he would take his career.

While Joe Haden missed five games last season with a foot injury, he still managed to post 38 tackles and one forced fumble, not to mention the intangibles he provides. Still, when Haden looks back at his career, he will be proud of what a solid career he’s had, having tallied 29 interceptions, 155 pass breakups, and 615 tackles for his entire career.

Browns and Steelers fans will be thankful for all of Haden’s contributions, and the Browns’ gesture of re-acquiring Haden, even if for just a day, proves that Haden really did make his mark for the franchise even if they didn’t achieve much in terms of team success during his tenure.

Enjoy retirement, Joe Haden!