Sunday, May 31, 2009

Florio: Hall should retire

I almost missed this Sporting News article by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio titled "10 NFL players who should retire now," but I was confused by DeAngelo Hall's inclusion at No. 5:

In human years, he's 25. In "pain in the butt" years, he's like 84.

It seems as if DeAngelo Hall has been around the NFL a lot longer than five seasons, due in large part that he's routinely popping off about something.

Most recently, he chided the team that paid him $1 million per game for eight games last year before giving him the ability to hit the open market again.

While he now has a fat new contract from the Redskins, we wonder when they'll realize that he's simply not an elite cover corner, and he's eventually more trouble than he's worth.

Was this written by Colin Cowherd? I'm with Florio on the fact that giving Hall a big contract -- six years, $54 million ($22.5 million guaranteed) -- was a risk this offseason, especially given his track record with the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders, but really, he should retire?

I agree with most of the names on the list, not all of them, but Hall's inclusion made the least sense. I don't recall the Redskins ever saying that Hall was "an elite cover corner," but he does provide an upgrade at the starting position opposite Carlos Rogers over the oft-injured Shawn Springs. Hall isn't as good of a cover corner as Springs, but he came in last season and was very effective in Washington's zone schemes, which is what he's best at anyway. Hall even admitted as much in an interview with the Junkies on WJFK earlier in May:

"Going from somewhere that really didn't have any scheme or any direction to a defense that just said, hey, we're going to put you in this position, we're going to ask you to make plays, but at the same time, we're going to give you a chance and put you in a scheme that's going to allow you to make plays. It kind of was relieving... I kind of had that swagger back. I was like, this is easy, this is fun, instead of feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and we're running this particular coverage and they're max protecting -- it just didn't make sense in Oakland. I come to Washington, and it's like, man, this makes sense. Like, this is what made me love football because this is the fun part. This is the part [where] all you do is go out and play."

The Raiders signed Hall to a huge contract and then asked him to do something he wasn't best at: play a lot of man-to-man coverage. Granted, Hall may not be the best guy in the world or the best teammate, but that was just a stupid move on their part.

With a much-improved defensive line and a defensive scheme that fits his abilities, Hall should have no problem producing more-than-acceptable numbers in Washington.

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