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Should Cowboys Trade for Browns CB Joe Haden?

[UPDATE: Since the writing of this article, the Browns have released .]

The are reportedly shopping Joe Haden, arguably their best defensive player for the last several years, in a salary-dumping effort. Is this an opportunity that the need to look at with the about to get underway?

Like most of you, I roll my eyes when the Cowboys are linked to just about any or marketed player. So believe me when I say that I don't blame you for reacting that way to this headline. However, I think this is one that is worth consideration.

Haden is due $11.1 million in base salary this year, which is what the Cowboys would take on if they trade for him. He has the same salary in 2018 and then $10.4 million in 2019, the final year of the contract.

According to two different sites, the Cowboys do have the space to make this move. Between OverTheCap and Spotrac, Dallas has somewhere between $13-$15 million in cap room right now. They can take on Haden's salary for 2017 and then decide what to do with him going forward. Like all trades in the NFL, Dallas would not be on the hook for any guaranteed money as this would all be paid out by Cleveland, the same as if they'd released him.

The Cowboys can make this move, but the real question is if they should. Even if they have the money to spend, is there a place for Joe Haden on the roster? And is Haden really worth what the Browns might be looking for in a trade?

Chidobe Awuzie

Dallas has plenty to be concerned about at cornerback. Second-round rookie Chidobe Awuzie has missed the last three games with a hamstring issue and hasn't played at all yet for the same reason. Veteran will likely miss time this year for his DWI in May, though the league hasn't made a ruling yet.

On the other side of the ball, 's could mean some early struggles for the Cowboys . They may not be able to control the ball like they did last year, which puts more pressure on the to perform.

That pressure would fall mostly on and , who both have their own red flags.  Scandrick has struggled to stay healthy the last few years and Brown is trying to transition from a bench role to larger responsibility. Some extra security behind them would make a lot of sense, given how little we know yet about the rookies.

Joe Haden
CB Joe Haden

Granted, Joe Haden may not be the same guy anymore. After making the in 2013 and 2014, Haden's missed most of 2015 with a concussion and other minor . He played 13 games last year but wasn't the same guy.

Still, the former 7th-overall pick is only 28-years-old.  The Browns are in a rebuilding mode and may simply not want to pay the high salary, as opposed to thinking Haden can no longer play. At the least, Haden should be an immediate upgrade over the likes of , , or Sammy Seamster.

If Dallas would be interested in Haden, the next question is what the Browns want in return. Could the Cowboys get him for a fourth-round pick? Keep in mind that Dallas will likely be getting an extra fourth-round compensatory pick in 2018.

This is all speculative as Dallas may not have any interest at all. However, their cornerback situation has immediate and season-long concerns that warrant attention. If Haden can have a bounce-back season, or at least provide solid depth, it's a move that could have a significant impact on the Cowboys' championship run.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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this makes sense as a 1 year rental for 4th rounder or later as we have a bunch of compensatory picks in 2018 to give to Browns

Randy Martin

No, no, no! On 9/2 there are going to be 1100+ free agents hitting the market. I believe there will be hidden gems there to choose from. We do not need a “shell of his former self” player that is making $11M this year. That being said, if they brought him in for a workout and physical and decided to sign him I trust the FO. But I wouldn’t give up more than a 5th rounder or later.


What he said.


They should consider it if he is willing to redo his contract. He would bring some much needed depth and he is a top notch CB, and his experience would only help the young Dallas secondary


No that free cap space is needed to sign a player who is not on the decline. That would be the best guard in the game, Zack Martin.

Michael Hollingworth

Why can’t that fourth round compensatory pick be traded? I thought that the trading of comp picks was approved for 2017 by the owners?

Jess Haynie

You’re absolutely right, Michael. I was not aware of that change and was going based off the old rules. I will make the correction. Thanks for catching that!

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