Browns coach doesn’t deny team trying to trade Haden


BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Joe Haden’s bounce-back season might not happen with the Browns.

The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, who has been limited by injuries the past two years, is reportedly being shopped and Cleveland coach Hue Jackson did nothing to clarify Haden’s future.

Following Tuesday’s practice, Jackson did not deny a CBSSports.com report that the Browns are “aggressively trying to trade” Haden.

“This is the time of year where everything starts happening,” Jackson said when asked about the report. “Things start getting said. Obviously, I don’t know that. But we’ll deal with those things as we move forward.”

Jackson deferred other questions about Haden to Sashi Brown, the team’s executive vice president of football operations.

“I trust Sashi and his group to make the right decisions for what’s best for our football team,” Jackson said. “Do I want Joe Haden on our football team? Yes, but whatever our organization thinks is best for our football team, that’s what we’ll do.”

Agent Drew Rosenhaus declined to comment. The Browns did not make Haden available following practice.

Before the workout, Haden, who has been with the team since 2010, laughed as he and linebacker Christian Kirksey danced during stretching. Haden then joined the pre-practice huddle and barked with his teammates before lining up at cornerback the way he always does.

Soon, he could be doing it elsewhere.

Haden is to make $11.1 million this season, and the Browns could be trying to unload his contract to add a wide receiver because the team lacks playmakers at that position.

A former first-round pick, Haden signed a five-year, $67.5 million extension in 2014. The deal made sense at the time as the team locked up a team leader and one of its best players.

But Haden hasn’t played close to his Pro Bowl-level the past two seasons and his drop in production has made him a target for some Cleveland fans.

The 28-year-old, who underwent offseason groin surgery, has acknowledged being stung by the criticism and has vowed to come back strong this season.

Jackson credited Haden for played well this summer before saying he was unaware of the trade reports.

“He’s had a great training camp,” Jackson said. “He’s played well in our games. So he’s a huge piece of what we do on defense and we’ll just keep moving from there.”