The Redskins’ release of DeAngelo Hall was not a surprise.
What happens next at cornerback is a mystery.
Since the end of last season, it has been pretty well known that Hall would not play for the Redskins for his contracted pay of $8 million ($7.5 million salary and $500,000 workout bonus). Even Hall knew it as he said at in front of his locker the day after the playoff loss to the Seahawks that he might need to rework his deal to come back.
But nobody was sure if Hall would be playing for the Redskins at a reduced rate of pay or if he would not be playing for them at all.
Today, we got the news that Hall is now an ex-Redskin.
“He was quite graceful,” said Shanahan of Hall when he broke the news to him. “He understood exactly the position we were in.”
At the end of last season Hall indicated that he might be willing to play ad a reduced rate for the Redskins in 2013. But Shanahan said that they did not offer him that opportunity.
“There are always those possibilities, but what I don’t want to do is take away from a guy that’s got a chance to make more money than we’re able to offer him,” said Shanahan
Hall has been a starting cornerback for the Redskins since shortly after coming to the team in midseason in 2008. He has played almost every snap of almost every game since then. Hall had his faults, to be sure, most of them caused by being aggressive in attempts to make big plays. Usually, he made some but gave up just as many if not more.
Regardless, Hall’s absence leaves a big hole in the Redskins’ secondary. Josh Wilson has a year left on his contract and he will remain the starter on one side. Richard Crawford, a 2012 sixth-round draft pick improved in a limited role as the year went on but it would be a stretch to rely on him as a starter this year. Cedric Griffin was the nickel back last year but his contract is up and his future remains uncertain.
Shanahan would not specify if he thought the replacement for Hall was on the current roster.
There are a few free agent cornerbacks who might suit the Redskins’ needs and, just as importantly, fit under the cap. E. J. Biggers of the Bucs and Derek Cox of the Jaguars are two corners who have been linked to the Redskins.
Shanahan also mentioned the draft as a possible way for the team to find a cornerback. But the Redskins do not have a first-round pick and finding a starting corner in the later rounds of the draft is a dicey proposition.