STEELERS SHOULD EXTEND HADEN

Mike Tomlin got his contract extension.

GM Kevin Colbert is still waiting for his. He’ll get it.

Cornerback Joe Haden should get a contract extension, too. 2019 is the final season of his current deal.

Haden is 30, and near the end of his prime. He shouldn’t get a long extension, or a gratuitously lucrative extension.

But Haden and the Steelers must negotiate their way to common ground, because the Steelers need Haden.

Haden stabilizes the cornerback position. He provides the defense leadership and glue.

Without Haden, who plays in his place? Artie Burns? (Gag.) Does Steven Nelson become the No. 1 corner? (Uh-oh.) Is third-round pick Justin Layne going to be ready for that kind of responsibility next season? (Seems early.)

Haden won’t make All-Pro again, and probably not even a Pro Bowl.

But he’s the best the Steelers have at corner, and is cerebral enough to make whatever adjustments age dictate. It's easy to imagine Haden switching to safety someday. (He'd be the Steelers' best there, too.)

If Haden wants unreasonable money or term, that’s different. But let’s find out what he wants. (Haden says he and the Steelers are “communicating.”)

 

Courtesy of Getty Images.

Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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