Revisiting the Redskins’ decision to keep DeAngelo Hall this past offseason

DeAngelo Hall has not been a good CB in a long time, if he ever was one at all.  Two teams, the Falcons and Raiders, gave up on Hall in less than a full calendar year.  In 2008, Hall was so bad that the Raiders released him after just 8 games, even though they had given up 2nd and 5th round picks to acquire him, and paid him an $8 million signing bonus during that same offseason.  In 2010, according to a stat invented by Football Outsiders, Hall had the 2nd worst “success rate” in the NFL at 39%.  He also gave up the 3rd most yards per target in the NFL (10.5), and the 3rd worst yards after catch (5.8). It didn’t get much better in 2011.

But at least he intercepted passes.  Lately, not so much.  Two so far this season, three all of last season.

Let’s pretend for a minute that DeAngelo Hall was a free agent this past offseason, and the Redskins re-signed him to a 3 year deal worth $24 million.  He would cost $6.5 million against the cap in 2012, $8 million in 2013, and $9.5 million in 2014.  We’d all laugh at them, right?  Well, that’s pretty much what they did.  Hall has 3 years left on a terrible contract that the Redskins could have gotten out of whenever they would have liked, with a relatively miniscule cap hit.  By cutting him, they could have freed up money to go out and find themselves a new, better CB.  In short, the Redskins had an opportunity to upgrade the position while also shaving some money off the cap.  They chose not to seize that opportunity.

Continued…

Last Sunday, in case you didn’t see Hall getting ejected from the game in Pittsburgh and you feel like sitting through an excessive 30 second commercial on NFL.com, you can watch that here.  That kind of behavior is nothing new, so it’s not like Hall is bringing some sort of leadership qualities to the table like another struggling Redskin defender, London Fletcher.

And yet, keeping in mind that the below contracts are more complex than the simple numbers below will suggest (especially since almost none of Hall’s money is guaranteed), Hall would have been the third highest paid corner from this past free agent class, which included a number of players that were also wildly overpaid:

To me, there’s no difference whatsoever between wild overspending on outside free agents and senselessly hanging onto overpaid players that aren’t playing well, which is precisely what the Skins did with DeAngelo Hall.

Taking it a step further, it’s hard to criticize the Redskins’ draft, seeing as they more than justified the decision to trade away so many assets for the face of their franchise for the next decade, not to mention finding a running back in the 6th round that is on pace for over 1400 rushing yards and 10 TDs.  But the decision to take Josh LeRibeus in the 3rd round instead of a defensive back, in hindsight, seems like a miss.  The Redskins’ offensive line last season was a mess, so it made sense to reload on the OL.  However, the poor play of the OL was due in part to so many players missing time.

Last season, Chris Chester and Will Montgomery played every snap, but here’s how many snaps their other starters missed:

  • Jammal Brown – 385
  • Trent Williams – 463
  • Kory Lichtensteiger – 812

This season, every offensive lineman with the exception of Trent Williams has played every snap this season (Williams has missed 64 snaps), and the OL has been monumentally improved.

Meanwhile, when the Redskins were on the board in the 3rd round, there were a handful of intriguing corners still on the board:

  • Jamell Fleming – Went 80th overall to the Cardinals.  242 snaps this season.
  • Bill Bentley – Went 85th overall to the Lions.  177 snaps this season.
  • Jayron Hosley – Went 94th overall to the Giants.  224 snaps this season.
  • Brandon Boykin – Went 123rd overall to the Eagles.  274 snaps this season.

I haven’t studied Bentley as much as the other three CBs above, but Boykin, Hosley, and Fleming have all had their moments.  The Redskins were never really going to seriously contend this season, and it might have been more beneficial to let a rookie CB take his lumps and gain invaluable experience getting significant playing time this season rather than slogging through another year with Hall being generally terrible.

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  3. [...] Two weeks ago, DeAngelo Hall got ejected for acting like an idiot.  Yesterday he did this.  Just cut him.  Why [...]

  4. WeGotLinemen says:

    Regarding the LeRibeus pick, I still like it because it is indicative of long term planning. That is something we haven’t had for a decade, so it is good to see that the offensive line is being given players to develop into future starters.

    Yes, our line has stayed healthy but the talent level in the middle of the line is marginal. I like LeRibeus as a replacement for Montgomery within the next few years. Sure, Montgomery is playing much better than in previous years but he is a very limited player.

    This coming off-season the secondary will be the priority, with the secondary targets being an upgrade at RT and finding some more pass rush (which disappeared with Orakpo and Carricker).

  5. WeGotLinemen says:

    At the time, I wanted Boykin with the 4th rounder that we used on Cousins. Now, I am liking the Cousins pick.

    Firstly, whilst Boykin looks like a decent player he isn’t a gamechanger. The Redskins defense is so horrific at the moment that improvement Boykin would have brought would have been like a glass of water in the middle of the Sahara, scant help to a doomed cause.

    The problems in the defense are many and diverse. Whilst the secondary is shallow on talent a lot of the problems stem from Haslett’s tragically predictable scheme. In short, Haslett’s D might use a 3-4 front but it more closely resembles Greg Blache’s ultra-conservative 4-3 than any other 3-4 scheme in the league.

    The most tragic example of how predictable our defense is what the Bengals did to us on the first play of the game, which took advantage of two prominent Haslett tendencies and ruthlessly exposed them.

  6. WeGotLinemen says:

    I’ve always wondered whether there was a contract clause protecting Hall from being cut.

    When he renegotiated his contract converting all his bonus money into an immediate payment in the uncapped year it seemed like an incredibly dumb move on his part because, absent the acceleration of bonus money, it made his contract look like an easy cap saving.

    It made him look like a surefire cut, which would cost him the most lucrative years of a back loaded contract. So, why did he sign the contract? Well he hasn’t been cut, despite the Redskins having few reasons to want him. So, the question has to be, are the Redskins being prevented from cutting him?

    If I were Hall, there would have been no way I would have signed that renegotiated contract unless it protected the salaries at the back end. I would have insisted on adding clauses that effectively guaranteed the final years.

  7. ameero2 says:

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  8. Joe D says:

    AMAZING!!!

    What is Snyder’s fascination with freaking DeAngelo HALL?

  9. TylerD says:

    Decent if he is gaurding a slow Reciever otherwise he is about Hall’s equal

  10. pranger says:

    Per Hall’s cap number was rolled into the uncapped year of 2010. This clever maneuver–executed on both Hall’s and Haynesworth’s contract–is the (b.s.) basis of the league’s salary cap penalty levied against the Redskins. So, the Skins will absorb no cap hit from cutting Hall before the next league year begins.

    “If Hall is released prior to June 1, 2013 – the sources confirmed to ESPN 980 that Hall’s entire 8 million dollar cap number will come off the Redskins books, assuming that the off-season workout program has not begun (April). If the program does begin, and Hall is released subsequently, the Redskins will have to absorb the 500 K workout bonus.

    In other words, if Hall is released in March – the Redskins can save 8 million dollars in cap money in 2013 and of course, the 9.5 million. Period. Done.”

    1. pranger says:

      Oops, somehow the link after “per” was excised. This is from ESPN 980′s Redskins Portal 10/30 “DeAngelo done in DC?”

  11. bula says:

    could you rewrite this whole article and insert the name “Namdi Asomough” (i think i spelled that right) in every line it says DeAngelo Hall. just think, you could have 2 articles with little extra work

    1. Nnamdi has been a major disappointment and he’s way overpaid, but he’s still a decent CB. Hall is just downright bad, regardless of pay.

  12. Derf Diggy says:

    Think shanahan(from his comments about “Step up or Shut up”) wants him gone. I don’t think we’ll see the biggest mouth since Brandon Jacobs left in the NFC east after this year.

    1. horatius says:

      Wait. I thought that was Antrel “We’ll beat them 99 times out of 100″ Rolle.

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