Joe Haden is an exceptional soccer player currently playing in the National Football League (NFL) and wears the black and yellow colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers as their designated #23 (formerly #21). The cornerback began his career in high school but played as a quarterback and safety back then. In his first year of college, he had to switch to the cornerback position when he joined 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 his parents’ five children, Joseph II and Zakiya Haden. All his siblings are boys and their names are Josh, Jordan, Jacob, and Jonathan Haden.
He was enrolled in Friendly High School in high school and was very active in the school’s soccer program, playing both quarterback and safety. He was not only involved in soccer but also in basketball, where he played as a point guard and helped his team win the national championship twice.
His record in football was also spectacular, and in his senior year, he led the Friendly Patriots to an MPSSAA Class 3A State Championship after 14 wins and no losses. His 7,371 passes in his career set a national record, while his 80 touchdown passes were a joint-record in the state of Maryland. This also earned him acceptance into the first Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in 2006.
When it came time for college in 2007, Rivals.com rated Joe Haden as a 4-star recruit, and despite his interest in him from Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and elsewhere, he chose to attend the University of Florida. He played for the Florida Gators soccer team and filled the starting position as a cornerback from the first game of the season. In his first year, he started all Gators games and missed only one game due to a sprained ankle. Haden’s performances earned him an All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) rookie selection.
In his second year, he got even better as he played (and started to play) all the Gators’ games that season and had 87 tackles and 3 interceptions. The following year, he scored 68 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 3 quarterback sacks, earning him the National Defensive Player of the Year award. His other awards include being named joint MVP with Tim Tebow and selecting the first team in the All-SEC before declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft that he would forgo his last season (senior year) in college.
Career and Salary
Joe Haden’s first team as a professional was the Cleveland Browns. He was voted 7th overall by the Browns in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft and a few months later he signed his first professional contract – a 5-year contract worth $50 million. He was the cornerback of the third choice for the team behind Sheldon Brown and Eric Wright but played in the first game of the season with a defeat to 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 a forced fumble.
The next season he became the starting cornerback and started all 15 games he played that season and finished with a record 65 combined tackles (53 solo), 19 passing shots, and one fumble. In the 2012 season, he failed a test for banned substances and was given a 4-game suspension. Upon his return, he scored his first touchdown in his career in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals the following season (2013). He was also selected for his second Pro Bowl in December 2013 and received his second All-Pro selection in January 2014.
His contract was renewed in 2014 with a $68 million contract that included a $45 million guarantee and an $11 million salary base. He was motivated by the inclusion of 73 combined tackles (58 solo) and 20 passing shots, which was a career highlight as he was named the second Pro Bowl. Injuries in the 2015 season (first a groin injury and then a concussion) ensured that he only played five games during the season.
Joe Haden’s refusal to accept a pay cut in 2017 forced the hand of the Browns to release him after seven years. As a freelancer, Haden is said to have turned down better offers to sign a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on the same day (August 30) that he was fired by the Cleveland Browns – only a few hours apart. His contract with the Steelers was worth $27 million with a signing bonus of $5.75 million and an annual salary of $9 million, which will increase as the contract expires.
His first league game in the Steelers jersey was against his former team, the Cleaveland Browns, whose victory inspired his current team. However, he would miss five games due to a fractured fibula. He returned and recorded 20 combined tackles (18 solo), one sack, one interception, and 7 passing shots.
Family – Dad, Brother
Joe Haden comes from a family of seven. His father, after whom he was named, is Joseph Haden sen. and his mother is Zakiya Haden. He has four younger brothers, three of whom also played college football. Josh played as running back for Boston College, Jordan played as safety for Toledo, while Jonathan, the youngest of them, played as running back for the University of Arizona.
His brother Jacob is a Special Olympian because 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. A childhood experience tells us that Haden saved Jacob from drowning in a swimming pool in their grandmother’s house.
Who is Joe Haden’s Wife?
Haden is happily married to the beautiful Iranian virgin Sarah Mahmoodshahi. Although it cannot be said how they met, it is reported that they dated for a while before tying the wedding knot. The wedding took place on June 29, 2013, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort in Miami, Florida.
The ceremony was presided over by Haden’s grandfather, Pastor Joseph Haden, and had a mixture of Christian and Persian flair to balance their two religious inclinations and cultural backgrounds. The turtledoves were blessed with a son named Joey, who was born on September 10, 2016.
Height, Weight and Other Facts
There are suitable body measurements for every sport. This means the minimum requirements for everyone who wants to do sports. In football, the emphasis is on weight and not on size (which is the case with basketball). At 88 kg, which is also 195 pounds, Joe Haden fits in terms of the weight required to excel in the sport. His height on the other hand is 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in).