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Browns wanted Joe Haden to take a pay cut

The Browns have released Joe Haden after he refused to take a pay cut because he knows that he's likely to make a similar amount of money elsewhere.

The sudden decision of the Browns to cut veteran cornerback Joe Haden came after the Browns tried to trade him. It also came after the Browns tried to get him to take less money.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Browns asked Haden to reduce his $11 million base salary before releasing him. Haden, obviously, declined.

He exits with $4 million in guaranteed money, but the Browns likely won’t be on the hook for that amount. The belief is that Haden will end up with more money elsewhere than what the Browns offered on a reduced deal.

Like all players with four or more years of service released before the trade deadline, Haden instantly becomes a free agent. He can pick any team he wants. He could be inclined to pick a team that is likely to do something he’s never done -- play in the postseason.