As far as I’m concerned, any debates surrounding the merits of the Cleveland Browns releasing Joe Haden are over. It’s been a hot topic in Cleveland since late August when Haden was cut and ultimately signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. We’ve dissected his final seasons with the Browns. We’ve dissected his season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The horse was dead, kicked, buried, dug up, kicked again.
But thanks to Joe Thomas it is now buried for good.
On the latest Thomahawk Podcast, Thomas and Andrew Hawkins discussed Haden and the impact of him being released on the 2017 Cleveland Browns. Regardless of diminished skills, cap numbers or any other details we might use to discuss NFL personnel moves, the impact of the move was undeniably awful.
Listen to Thomas here:
This is the argument-ender on the #Browns and Joe Haden. Regardless of diminished skills or cap numbers, there’s no justification for deflating your team the way Sashi Brown did in executing this move. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to Joe Thomas. pic.twitter.com/vmTT6Z5xzZ
— Craig Lyndall (@WFNYCraig) January 18, 2018
Good plans require great execution and when you shock your coaching staff and locker room by cutting a popular leader, leaving your team devastated and befuddled, it doesn’t matter how technically brilliant it might have been. This isn’t Madden. These are real people with personalities and chemistry and dynamics covering the span of leadership, brotherhood, and beyond.
Sashi Brown might not have lost his gig for cutting guys like Joe Haden and Paul Kruger if he had executed those plans better with buy-in from the team and the coaching staff. Maybe it’s as simple as not waiting until the last possible minute at the end of training camp? That’s not something I can know for sure. What I do know for sure is that these moves left the team worse off not because of the players involved, but because of the impact they had on the human beings that were expected to try and win football games.