Signs point to release of DeAngelo Hall as free agency nears

D Hall
(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

As the start of free agency draws closer and the Redskins remain over the salary cap, two people close to the situation believe that it’s “highly likely” that the team will release veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

As of Friday afternoon, the Redskins had yet to engage in talks to restructure the contract of the 10-year veteran, and team officials hadn’t offered any assurances that Hall remained in their plans, sources said.

Hall is scheduled to make $8 million next season, but Washington is roughly $3 million over the salary cap because of the $36 million penalty over two years levied by the NFL  against the team because of the way the Redskins structured contracts during the uncapped 2010 season.

If the Redskins were able to recoup some or all of the $18 million in cap space they are scheduled to lose for the 2013 season, re-signing some of their own free agents or those from other teams would be easier.

Hall said at the end of the 2012 season that he was willing to rework his deal to remain in Washington. One person speaking on the condition of anonymity said that Hall’s representatives had proposed to restructure Hall’s contract, but the Redskins informed them that they still were hoping to get at least some of their cap space back and couldn’t negotiate yet. The Redskins had twice pushed back negotiations with Hall’s representatives in February while holding out hope for resolution to the cap dispute.

But with free agency starting at 4 p.m.Tuesday, no resolution to the cap situation and little communication from Redskins officials, Hall’s camp is bracing for the possibility that he will be released early next week and become a free agent.

Hall last season recorded 95 tackles and four interceptions.

The Redskins haven’t held many negotiations with any of their impending free agents, and aren’t yet believed to have restructured any contracts. Most of their 13 unrestricted free agents expect to first test the open market, which they are permitted to do starting at midnight Friday.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Lenny Bernstein · March 8, 2013

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