Exactly one week after he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Joe Haden said he "wasn't angry" with the Browns for releasing him, or with the way it went down.
"It is what it is," Haden said during a Wednesday media conference call. "It is just the business of the game. It sucks with the relationships that I had there with everybody in the entire building. It felt like family because I was with them for so long. It sucks, but like I keep saying, the business part of it is real. It happens.”
Haden signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the rival Steelers last week just hours after the Browns cut him. The 2010 first round draft pick made two Pro Bowls and intercepted 19 passes during seven seasons in Cleveland.
When asked if the chance to play against his former team twice factored into his decision to go to Pittsburgh, Haden denied that was the case.
"I was just looking forward to trying to get to the playoffs, trying to spread my career to play where I haven’t played," Haden said. "With them, I knew the opportunity was going to be there. It had really nothing to do playing against the Browns twice a year.”
Haden believes injuries and finances were the main culprits behind his release, confirming the Browns had approached him about restructuring his contract. He is eager for the chance to prove his doubters wrong.
“I definitely feel as if I still have it," He said. "No hard feelings with anybody, but I feel like I’m the best corner in the division.”
Haden did have many good things to say about his former teammates, however, including rookie starting quarterback DeShone Kizer.
“I really like Kizer," he said. "He is a young quarterback. He has all of the tools. He is still growing. He has time to grow, but I think he is going to do well.”
And yes, Joe will still root for the Cavs.
“Oh, I’m still going to be at the Q for sure – playoff games and all," he said. "I have a lot of friends that I have up there so Cleveland is still going to be a spot that I come to. For sure will be at the playoff games because the Cavs are still my favorite team."