On Tuesday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns made cornerback Joe Haden the second-highest paid cornerback in the NFL behind Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman. The Browns star defensive back tallied 54 tackles and three interceptions last season, and inked a five-year $68 million contract ($45 million guaranteed) to lock him in with the Browns until 2019.
Haden earned his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, but back in 2006, he was running through and passing over Prince George’s County defenses as a quarterback. The former Friendly offensive standout earned 2006 All-Met Offensive Player of the Year honors after leading the Patriots to a 14-0 record and Maryland 3A state championship. Friendly also finished No. 2 in the Post’s Top 20 rankings behind DeMatha.
As a senior, Haden passed for 2,783 yards and 38 touchdowns, and rushed for 899 yards and 13 touchdowns. He finished his career as the Maryland public school record holder for career passing yards (7,371) and tied the career touchdown passes mark (80). In this All-Met video from 2006, Haden said plans on playing receiver at Florida, with no mention of being a defensive back. But when he threw on the Gators jersey, Haden’s skills at cornerback were impossible to overlook. He started 12 games at defensive back as a freshman. In his junior year, he amassed 68 tackles and four interceptions and was a unanimous first-team all-American and entered the NFL Draft.
Cleveland selected Haden with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, and since then he’s played in 57 games with 13 interceptions, 68 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two sacks. Haden has the most pass breakups and interceptions combined (64) since 2010. Below is the fall All-Met football offensive team from Haden’s senior year. He’s second from the right in the front row (No. 1 in red). Fellow NFL player Arrelious Benn, a Dunbar graduate now playing for the Eagles, is at the far right of the top row.