After seven seasons in the NFL, Joe Haden has yet to play in the postseason.
And according to the former Cleveland Browns cornerback, that weighed heavily into his decision to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this week.
"I just felt like once I was free, I wanted to have a chance to be able to play in some meaningful games, you know what I'm saying?," Haden said of his decision to sign with the Steelers, according to the Sporting News' Jordan Greer. "They don't really miss the playoffs, so I'm like, I just wanted to be a part of something where I could play in the playoffs."
Haden signed a 3-year, $27 million contract with the Steelers on Wednesday, hours after being cut by the Browns, who selected the Florida product with the No. 7 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. In addition to explaining his decision to sign with Pittsburgh, Haden revealed the reason for his release from the Browns, which he said was a monetary matter for his former team.
"I think they wanted me to take -- actually, I don't think, they wanted me to take a pay cut," Haden said. "And I wasn't trying to take a pay cut."
As a result, Haden now finds himself a member of the Steelers, who have made the playoffs in five of the last seven years and advanced to last season's AFC title game. But while making his postseason debut with his new team is his ultimate goal, Haden's old team very much remains on his mind; Pittsburgh will open its 2017 season on Sept. 10 on the road -- at Cleveland.
"Super excited," Haden said of his upcoming Steelers debut. "Our first game is gonna be in Cleveland, so it's gonna be special."