It's no secret that we have a love-hate relationship with CB DeAngelo Hall here at Hog Heaven. We felt he was overpaid for the value he delivered, which was a product of ex-GM Vinny Cerrato and former DC Greg Blache massive over-reaction to a good day Hall had against Dallas.
A legion of Redskins fans bought into it; they still do actually. All of that based on the notion that interceptions are the only measure of a cornerback's value. Hall's, um, "competitive fire" is also an
issue problem. He has hurt the Redskins as much as he helped them.
Hall agrees in one respect. His contract, and that of Albert Haynesworth, was a team detriment. Here's what Hall said yesterday when interviewed on the NFL-Network:
“We started something here in Washington with coach [Mike] Shanahan,” Hall said. “That was the biggest thing I wanted to stress. I felt like my contract along with Haynesworth was the reason we were in the situation we were in. So for me it wasn’t about the money. I wanted to come back here, I wanted to finish something I started; I grew up in the Virginia Beach area, I’m a local kid, went to Virginia Tech so I wanted to be a part of this football team. I’ve been a part of it when we weren’t so good so to finally be on the cusp of being great, I want to be a part of that. I was willing to take that pay cut and get back on this football team and help us win.”
The story of the salary cap sanction on the Redskins because of Hall and Haynesworth's contract has been told many times. It is interesting to hear one of the players involved acknowledge their role in it. (Hog Heaven doesn't blame the player for taking the money.)
Hall revealed other aspects about these new Redskins. Washington is a place players want to be. That's why Shanahan expects veteran free agents return when he lets them test the market. We have seen this now with Hall, Chris Cooley, Fred Davis and London Fletcher. Teams on the rise can do this.
That was an option Daniel Snyder and, to a lesser degree, Joe Gibbs did not have. They had to over-pay their free agent keepers to induce them to stay, while squeezing other keepers off the roster (Think: Antonio Pierce, Carlos Rogers and Ryan Clark). There's a different feel around Redskins Park now.
Hall was scheduled to make $8 million under his old contract. He re-signed with the 'Skins for a $2 million deal in April that included up to $1 million in incentives and a $250,000 signing bonus. We like D.Hall a lot better with an appropriate contract.
Hall answered other questions for NFL-N. When asked if Kirk Cousins was ready to step in for Robert Griffin III:
"From the moment we saw Kirk … we thought he was special. It was a shame he was drafted with RG, so we kinda didn't think we would get a chance to see him play. You know, from watching him in practice. For him to actually get a chance to play in a football game and lead the team, guys definitely rallied behind him. RG was probably one of his biggest fans and supporters, so if we have to go out there with Kirk we definitely feel confident. You know he's won a game for us before and you know if he has to do it again we will definitely be ready for it."
Will Robert be ready? What do you think?
"I think so. Um, you know I'm not a doctor. I haven't really been following his progress, but when I see him walking around, running around this place, you'll find no other guy who works as hard as him, who is more dedicated to getting back on the field to help this team win football games. He's doing everything physically possible to get ready."
They drafted three DBs. They trying to get rid of you?
Hall invoked the spirit of the sainted Darrel Green to answer this one. Hall talked to Green who told him that the he (Green) kept beating out the rookies brought in to compete with him.
"I feel great. I feel great. Some of these young guys we got, they look great. We had a chance to see Rambo and David Amerson already and, um, I'm gonna teach those guys all I know. They look good so far and I look forward to the challenge."
NFL.com posted the video clip of Hall's interview that you can see here.