Joe Haden: 'I love Cleveland'

Updated: May 14, 2014, 10:24 PM ET
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com

BEREA, Ohio -- Joe Haden wants his five-year contract extension with the Cleveland Browns to represent a new beginning.

"This contract only makes me feel like now I have to play like the best corner in the league," Haden said Wednesday.

The deal is worth $68 million and includes $45 million in guaranteed money -- terms Haden disclosed Tuesday on his Twitter account.

The numbers are staggering and put Haden right up there in pay with Seattle's Richard Sherman, considered by many to be the league's top cornerback.

"Once you get a contract, then it seems everybody knows what's going on, but I put myself there the whole time," Haden said.

At 25, Haden is now set for life. And unlike other well-known athletes, he chose to become wealthy while staying in Cleveland.

"I love Cleveland, man," he said. "I really like it here. I enjoy it here. The fans are great. I never want to just bail out on anything. I started here. They drafted me.

"And the fan base is one big part. The way they feel about the team and the Browns, I feel like if we can really start winning, there is no other place I'd rather play."

HadenI love Cleveland, man. I really like it here. I enjoy it here. The fans are great. I never want to just bail out on anything. I started here. They drafted me. And the fan base is one big part. The way they feel about the team and the Browns, I feel like if we can really start winning, there is no other place I'd rather play.

-- Joe Haden

It's been quite a ride for Haden, who didn't start until halfway through his rookie season and says he found himself after being suspended for four games in 2012 for taking Adderall, which is banned under the NFL's drug policy. Haden said the suspension woke him up, and that getting married helped him put his priorities in order.

In Mike Pettine, Haden will be playing for his fourth coach in five seasons, and his third in three seasons. He said he means it when he says there is a new attitude around the team, but that's been heard in Cleveland before.

What's truly new with the Browns is the buzz following last week's NFL draft, after the team took quarterback Johnny Manziel with the No. 22 overall pick.

"I was hyped," Haden said. "I like Manziel. You know me, I'm a little bit on the flashy side. I like that about him. I like that he has a personality."

Haden also that the team can't do much but "love up" on receiver Josh Gordon, who is facing a one-year suspension after testing positive under the league's drug policy. Even with that, Haden believes the Browns can finally win this season.

"We have the ability," he said. "We just have to get the attitude."

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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