Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports



Members of the Niner Faithful hoping to see cornerback Joe Haden in a San Francisco 49ers uniform when the 2017 season kicks off are out of luck. He didn't last long on the open market and has agreed to terms on a three-year, $27 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who, along with the 49ers, were one of the numerous teams reportedly in the mix to sign the cornerback.

49ers general manager John Lynch told KNBR listeners on Wednesday morning that he would have a discussion with head coach Kyle Shanahan about Haden and the two would evaluate if the cornerback would improve the team.

"Like with any other player, we've been doing our due diligence and we will always try to improve our team when we feel like we can," Lynch said on KNBR. "So, going through that process right now. If we feel like he can help us at that position, then we'll get involved and get active. We're in that process right now. Kyle and I haven't talked about it since it actually became a reality so we'll do that probably right after we hang up (from this interview) and see where we go."

Either the 49ers were not interested in Haden or the cornerback simply went with what he felt was a better situation. The Steelers are considered to be a playoff and potential Super Bowl team. Meanwhile, the 49ers are at the start of a rebuild.

Cleveland attempted to trade Haden, who signed a six-year, $74.678 million deal in 2014. He had just $4 million guaranteed in 2017. Haden has been available for just 18 games over the past two seasons. During that time, he had 55 tackles, three interceptions, and 13 passes defensed.

The Browns were unable to find a trade partner and ultimately decided to release Haden on Wednesday morning. While Haden's play has slipped in recent years, he is still seen as a player who can help an NFL team. It is rare to see a player of Haden's caliber hit the free agent market just prior to the start of the NFL season.

"Joe gave everything he had for the Cleveland Browns and that's all you can ask for as a coach," Browns head coach Hue Jackson said via a statement issued by the team following the release of Haden. "He was a leader on and off the field. I wish him all the best as he continues his career."

Haden was the seventh overall selection by the Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2013, 2014) and has 377 tackles, two sacks, 19 interceptions, a touchdown, 100 passes defensed, and four forced fumbles over his NFL career.