The Browns have cut two time pro bowl cornerback Joe Haden, who was one of the only good players apart of this abysmal franchise. This has got to be the highlight of Joe Haden's career. A great cornerback that has been overlooked for years because he's played for the worst franchise in the NFL since being drafted. Haden has basically been the only bright spot for the Browns in recent years besides for Joe Thomas. Due to his injury history, the Browns wanting to get younger, and the Browns trying to save as much cap space as possible they decided to cut Haden just a week before the 2017 season kicks off. Most players are usually devastated after getting cut by a team, however in Joe Haden's case he probably felt like he just hit the lottery.
Haden has accumulated plenty of individual awards and has made tons of money with the Browns, so the only thing he has left to do in his NFL career is win. That's why when he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a 3 year $27 million deal, he essentially secured a few winning seasons under his belt. The Steelers only major flaw defensively was their secondary and Joe Hayden will help patch the bleeding back there. He's a true number #1 corner when healthy, something the Steelers haven't had in ages. He's only 28 years old, so he's still got a couple more years of being at an elite level before Father Time decides to start taking away his agility and acceleration. Now, Haden will finally get to experience what playing for an above .500 team feels like and will get to finally taste postseason football, barring a major collapse in the Steelers season.
Overall, this is a great signing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were 16th in pass defense last year, isn't terrible, but isn't great either. Joe Haden will surely help tighten up the back end of that defense. Steelers need all the help they can get if they want to finally slay the New England Patriots in the playoffs, something they've never really been able to do. I'm not sure if this move quite puts them over the top, although it surely doesn't hurt. Honestly, I'm just happy Joe Haden's suffering is finally over.
Anquan Boldin, one of the most underrated and under appreciated wide receivers of this past generation has decided to step away from the gridiron. Anyone that knows the game of football and really pays attention to what's going on in the league knows Anquan Boldin is a sure fire hall of famer. He wasn't flashy so he didn't receive the recognition from the casual fan because he just went about his business, but boy could that man play ball. The guy had the strongest hands in football, he wasn't afraid to throw deadly blocks, and he quietly put up numbers each and every year no matter who his quarterback was. Him and Larry Fitzgerald were one of the best wide receiver duos in NFL history. They are right up there with Jerry Rice and Tim Brown, Torry Holt and Issac Bruce, and whoever else you wanna throw on that list. Boldin and Fitzgerald crack the top 10 in all time receptions and receiving yards, so to say they aren't in that conversation would just be ignorant.
Boldin's retirement came as a shock to many around the league. He had just been signed by the Bills and then two weeks later he decides to call it quits. When asked why he decided to retire he said it was because he wanted to do bigger things. The NFL had given him the platform to move on with his life and change the world for the better and that's what he plans on doing from here on out. That's a true hero right there. Willing to give up millions to help the greater good is something only a handful of people would be willing to do. Bolden is out here setting a great example for players on life after football with this move. He was still a productive player and would've been the #2 receiver on the Bills this year. He realized he already had an accomplished career and was ready to move on and help the world instead of going through the grind of another NFL season. I'd say he made the right decision.
Nothing but respect for Boldin. He's a class act and is a true role model for any kid that wants to be a wide receiver. He's a rare bread nowadays, not all receivers like to do the dirty work, but Boldin did it better than most and it showed with how successful his team's were. He went to the Super Bowl with Arizona, a team no one would've thought had any business being in that game, and then he won a Super Bowl in 2012 with the Ravens. Boldin played a big part in that postseason run with the Ravens putting up big numbers. I wish Boldin nothing but the best in life after football, I hope he accomplishes bigger things off the field than he did on the field because that'll mean he's made a major impact in society, and I hope he doesn't get snubbed of that gold jacket that he rightfully deserves.