Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden is on the market, and 49ers’ general manager John Lynch indicated the franchise is interested.
Haden was cut by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday morning after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the team, and already, suitors are lining up.
Lynch appeared on the Murph & Mac Show on KNBR on Wednesday and said that immediately following his interview, he planned to speak with San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan about the possibility of adding Haden to the roster.
“We’re going through that process right now,” Lynch said. “If we feel like he can help us at that position, then we’ll get involved and get active. So 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 and see where we go.”
Lynch said the 49ers have done their “due diligence” on Haden, and that because San Francisco knew it was a realistic possibility that Cleveland would cut the Pro Bowl corner, the 49ers have already watched Haden’s tape and performed evaluations.
“With respect to Joe Haden, somebody asked me this morning have you been turning on the tape this morning, you know,” Lynch said. “To which my response was, ‘If this was the first time I turned on the tape on Joe Haden, I wouldn’t have been doing my job. We’ve been watching Joe, just like players throughout this league for awhile. There’s been some conjecture that maybe this would be the ultimate result in Cleveland. And so like any other player, we’ve been doing our due diligence.”
If the 49ers want to lock down a deal with Haden, they’ll have to act quickly. On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers have already emerged as the favorites to sign their old AFC North rival.
Steelers are the favorite to land former Browns CB Joe Haden.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2017
To listen to Lynch’s full interview on Murph & Mac, click the podcast link below. To listen to Lynch discuss the possibility of signing Haden, skip ahead to the 8:20 mark.