Joe Haden is an exceptional football player who is currently playing in the National Football League (NFL), wearing the black and yellow colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers as their designated No. 23 (formerly No. 21). The cornerback began his trade in high school but he played as a quarterback and safety at that time. He had to switch to the cornerback position in his freshman year of college as he lined up for the University of Florida Gators football team.
Although he is widely known as Joe Haden, his full name is Joseph Walter Haden III and he was born on April 14, 1989. His birthplace is in Fort Washington, Maryland, and he is the first of the five children of his parents, Joseph II and Zakiya Haden. All his siblings are boys and their names are Josh, Jordan, Jacob, and Jonathan Haden.
He was enrolled in high school at Friendly High School and he participated in the school’s football program very actively and played as both a quarterback and safety. He was not only involved with football but with basketball as well where he played as a point guard and helped his team to the state title twice.
In football, his record was also spectacular and his senior year saw him lead the Friendly Patriots to an MPSSAA Class 3A State Championship on the back of 14 wins and no losses. His 7,371 career passing yards set a state record while his 80 touchdown passes were a joint record in Maryland state. It also earned him selection into the first Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in 2006.
When it was time for college in 2007, Rivals.com rated Joe Haden a 4-star recruit and despite interest in him from Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and others, he chose to go to the University of Florida. He played for the Florida Gators football team and manned the starting position as a cornerback from the first game of the season. He ended up starting all the Gators games in his freshman year, missing only one game as a result of an ankle sprain. Haden’s performances earned him an All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) freshman selection.
His sophomore year got even better as he played (and started) all of the Gators games that season recording 87 tackles and 3 interceptions. The next year saw him record 68 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 3 quarterback sacks earning him a National Defensive Player of the Year recognition. His other awards include being named joint MVP with Tim Tebow and a first-team All-SEC selection before he declared for the 2010 NFL Draft forgoing his final season (senior year) in college.
Career and Salary
Joe Haden’s first team as a professional was the Cleveland Browns. He was picked as the 7th overall in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Browns and a few months later, he sighed his first pro contract – a 5-year deal worth $50 million. He was the third choice cornerback for the team behind Sheldon Brown and Eric Wright but played in the first game of the season in a loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After playing 16 games of which he started seven, Joe Haden recorded 64 combined tackles (57 solo), 7 assists, 6 interceptions, and one forced fumble.
In his next season, he became starting cornerback and started all the 15 games he played that season finishing with a record 65 combined tackles (53 solo), 19 pass deflections, and one sack. He failed a test for banned substances in the 2012 season and received a 4-game suspension. On his return, he got his first career touchdown in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals the following season (2013). He was also selected for his second Pro Bowl in December 2013 and got his second-team All-Pro selection in January 2014.
His contract was extended in 2014 with a $68 million deal which had $45 million guaranteed and a salary base of $11 million. Serving as a motivation, he recorded 73 combined tackles (58 solo), 20 pass deflections, which was a career-high as he was named to a second Pro Bowl. Injuries in the 2015 season (first, a groin injury and then a concussion) ensured that he played only five games throughout the season.
Joe Haden’s refusal to take a pay cut in 2017 forced the hand of the Browns to release him after seven years. As a free agent, Haden was reported to have rejected better offers to sign a 3-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on the same day (August 30) he was released by the Cleveland Browns – just hours apart. His contract with the Steelers was worth $27 million with a $5.75 million signing bonus and a $9 million annual salary that will increase as the contract winds down.
His first league game in the Steelers jersey was against his former side, the Cleaveland Browns which he inspired his current side to win. He would, however, miss five games due to a fractured fibula. He returned and recorded 20 combined tackles (18 solo), one sack, one interception, and 7 pass deflections.
Family – Dad, Brother
Joe Haden comes from a family of seven. His father, whom he was named after, is Joseph Haden Sr. and his mother is Zakiya Haden. He has four younger brothers three of who also played college football. Josh played for Boston College as a running back, Jordan played for Toledo as a safety, while Jonathan, the youngest of them played as running back for the University of Arizona.
His brother, Jacob, is a Special Olympian as he suffers from a disorder that affects his ability to communicate properly. He is a responsibility of his brothers who have always been there for him, especially, Haden. One childhood experience has it that Haden had saved Jacob from drowning in a swimming pool at their grandma’s house.
Who is Joe Haden’s Wife?
Haden is happily married to the beautiful Iranian damsel, Sarah Mahmoodshahi. While nothing can be said about how they met, it is reported that they dated for a while before tying the nuptial knot. The wedding took place on June 29, 2013, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort in Miami, Florida.
The ceremony was officiated by Haden’s grandfather, Rev. Joseph Haden and had a blend of Christian and Persian flair to strike a balance between their two religious inclinations and cultural backgrounds. The lovebirds have been blessed with a son named Joey who was born on September 10, 2016.
Height, Weight and Other Facts
There are body measurements suitable for each sport. That is the minimal requirement for anyone who hopes to participate in sports. For football, the emphasis is placed on weight rather than height (which is the case for basketball). At 88 kg, which is also 195 pounds, Joe Haden fits the bill with regards to the weight required to stand out in sports. His height, on the other hand, is 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m).