What does DeAngelo Hall’s return mean for the secondary?

April 2, 2013

Not long after the news broke Monday night that cornerback DeAngelo Hall was coming back — and really, was he ever leaving? — some interesting theories popped up on what it means for the Redskins’ secondary.

Mike Jones tweeted that Antoine Winfield was out of the country, but posited that having Hall back likely rules Winfield out. Our old friend Jasno, though, in reporting the deal was for 1 year and $2.25 million said Winfield is not ruled out.

That led people in our comments to wonder where the money to sign them would be coming from. Rich Tandler calculated that $1.77 million will need to be freed up to pay Hall, and Winfield would probably like some money too. Perhaps Josh Wilson and his $4 million salary could be let go? Could the Redskins get Hall and Winfield (or one of the other available CBs) for a smidge more than they pay Wilson alone?

But as ESPN’s Dan Graziano pointed out, letting Wilson go for Winfield is cutting a 28-year-old CB for a 35-year-old one. So maybe you get a year or two out of Winfield, but it commits the Redskins to developing one of the younger guys (Richard Crawford, E.J. Biggers) into a starter or drafting someone.

If you were on Twitter or our comments at the time, excuse the rehash. They summarize the key points. But the other aspect, and the one I appreciate, is that having Hall, Wilson and Biggers in place means the Redskins can draft a corner if they want one, but they aren’t forced to come out of the draft with one.


DeAngelo Hall is back in the Redskins secondary, but that doesn’t mean the team is all set in the defensive backfield. (John McDonnell, The Washington Post)

There’s also still an opportunity to bargain shop at corner, if the Redskins feel they need another. Still unsigned are Nnamdi Asomugha, Mike Jenkins, Winfield, Stanford Routt and Tracy Porter. (hat tip to GFT74). Not saying I would want any part of some of those guys, but they’ve all been established NFL starters at one time or another. If you could get one for half of what you pay Wilson, would you do it?

Perhaps the Redskins did all the bargain shopping they needed to with Hall. Here’s what other free agents CBs have signed for this offseason (hat tip to filmchis):

Saints’ Keenan Lewis: five years, $26 million
Lions’ Chris Houston: five years, $25 million
Chargers’ Derek Cox: four years, $20 million  Eagles’ Cary Williams: three years, $17 mill.
Chiefs’ Sean Smith: three years, $17 million
Colts’ Greg Toler: three years, $14.25 million  Dolphins’ Brent Grimes: one year, $5.5 mill.

Patriots’ Aqib Talib: one year, $5 million
Broncos’ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: one year, $5 million

Where does the secondary stand, in your opinion, with Hall back in the fold? Safety looks likely with the second round pick, but plenty can change.

Hall is a better fit in Washington than he would have been anywhere else, and he didn’t want to leave. For Washington, paying him about a quarter of what they were on the hook for is a shrewd move, and yet they could bypass corner in the draft and still have competition on the roster for the starting spots and nickel. Not bad.

As an aside, sorry for talking up the need to be interactive and then not being able to post much yesterday. Blame the Nats’ fairly awesome opening day. It’ll be a week or so before I’m active during normal working hours, but I did go back to yesterday’s Opening Kick to answer a few of the posts that were directed at me.

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Mark Maske · April 1, 2013

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