The Redskins re-signed impending free agent corner DeAngelo Hall to a four-year contract. Specs on the deal are just emerging but it sounds like $17M (or $4.25M annually) plus $3.25M to sign. Importantly, the additional guarantees are thought to be only $2M. Though he remains a polarizing figure among Redskins fans, re-signing Hall was almost mandatory and the money is totally reasonable. I’m a big fan of this transaction.
Overall, Hall is probably no better than average in coverage and we’ve all watched him get torched several times as a Redskin. But Hall brings something to the table that this team has sorely lacked and desperately needed: playmaking ability. Love or hate his personality—which, by the way, has changed quite a lot and rather grown on me over five-and-a-half seasons in Washington—DeAngelo Hall makes positive, game-altering plays very frequently and the Redskins will require more of those to reverse their position.
- Hall made 23 picks in those five-and-a-half seasons, including four in each of the past two.
- He forced six fumbles (three last year) and recovered seven (three in the past two years).
- He scored five defensive touchdowns (three last year).
You just can’t deny that DeAngelo Hall knows how to get the football back and I will continue to enjoy watching him do it. He keeps it interesting even when the odds on SportsBettingDime.com don’t favor the Redskins.
As already conceded, Hall’s penchant for risk-taking makes him vulnerable to big plays, but very few corners—even the best ones—are immune to them and when it comes to press-man coverage and neutralizing an opponent’s WR1 (e.g., Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson, and Brandon Marshall in 2013), DeAngelo Hall is indeed among the best. I’m sorry if that doesn’t mesh with popular perception but it’s accurate. He also has improved drastically over his career as a tackler and contributor against the run.
Hall plays with great emotion, which is why many of us are ambivalent but almost none are indifferent toward him. In D.C. he has drawn seven total flags for unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct. My feeling is that the quantity and sum impact of his momentum-losing plays are far outweighed by those of his momentum-gaining ones.
I also think, quite frankly, that DeAngelo Hall has become rather likable. Beat reporters say he works hard and is well-prepared. Teammates seem to respect him. He doesn’t find trouble off the field. His reputed arrogance has calmed into a pretty tolerable…dare I say…swagger? I honestly don’t object to him anymore and the fact that he practically owns Dez Bryant is a more-than-adequate tie-breaker in his favor.
Let’s not forget that in London Fletcher’s absence this Redskins defense will need a veteran leader and, if only by default, I really think Hall is it. He’s an accomplished veteran, he plays very hard, he hasn’t missed a game in four years, and he knows the defense in detail. I don’t have a problem with Hall as the face of this defense when otherwise it may not even have one. This should be considered in judging his contract.
The money seems fair: maybe a tad generous but hardly egregious. The guarantees are very manageable so he won’t become an albatross. If Hall sharply declines over the next two years, he can be released without prohibitive penalty. Transitioning to full-time safety at some point in the future has been teased by the team and remains a slim possibility but I wouldn’t consider it “Plan A” and I tend to doubt it will ever happen.
The Redskins would have been perilously thin at corner without Hall, given Josh Wilson’s likely departure. I do think Hall’s re-signing takes the Redskins out of the market for a big-name free agent boundary corner (like Talib), as Hall and Amerson will almost certainly start outside in 2014. The team will probably (and hopefully) add a veteran nickel corner, possibly a Captain Munnerlyn or a Walter Thurmond III, to compete with Richard Crawford for the primary slot position, though. Chase Minnifield is a favorite of mine and will emerge as a quality backup and eventual starter given an extended period of full health, which has thus far eluded him.
If you’re like me, you’ve already come to embrace DeAngelo Hall for his straight-shooting and flair for the dramatic. If not? It might be easiest just to get with the program.