The Cleveland Browns will honor recently retired cornerback Joe Haden before facing the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8's Monday Night Football matchup. Haden, who signed a one-day deal to retire as a Brown, spoke to the media Saturday morning about his time with the organization.
Haden talked about the memories that came back to him simply by returning to FirstEnergy Stadium. He added that he "never thought I'd be playing for a different team" when he was in Cleveland from 2010 to 2016 and that being back flooded his mind with memories of his last day with the Browns.
Joe Haden Retirement
Haden vividly remembers the call that led to his 2016 release. He said that not only was it a humbling experience, but it also reminded him that the NFL is a business at its core. Still, he never anticipated that he'd spend the remainder of his career with another franchise, which happened to be the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
While releases can cause rifts, clear that's not the case here. The three-time Pro-Bowler said it was important for him to retire as a Brown because he essentially grew up in Cleveland and wouldn't be who he is without that experience.
"The city embraced me and they showed me so much love.... I wanted to reciprocate that love. [Cleveland] just feels like the place I grew up and where I wanted to end my career."- Joe Haden on retiring as a Brown
Ninety of Haden's 158 career NFL games were played in a Browns uniform. He racked up 306 tackles, 101 broken-up passes, 19 interceptions and four forced fumbles in those outings, notching two Pro Bowl appearances and a second-team All-Pro showing along the way.
Now, it's up to the Browns to beat the Bengals after honoring Haden. The retired CB faced Cincinnati 10 times during his time with Cleveland, resulting in a 4-6 record for his team.
Bengals vs Browns MNF
Hopefully, Haden's presence gives the underperforming Browns a boost. FanDuel Sportsbook currently pegs Cleveland as the 3.5-point underdog against the Bengals, however, it's the Browns who have -115 odds to cover the spread.
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