In 14 years of pro football, Washington Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall has never dealt with anything quite like the early-season departure of second-year safety Su’a Cravens from the team.
So in the wake of this week’s announcement by Cravens’s agent that his client had been medically cleared to return to the NFL — and was excited about doing so in 2018 — Hall said Wednesday that he’s not sure what his own reaction would be when and if Cravens returns to the fold next season.
“It’s almost like, you want to see before you make any assumptions about what’s going on,” said Hall, adding that there’s no guarantee he’s back next season, either. “Guys are very forgiving in a sense. I don’t think anybody is going to hold any ill will or ill karma on him intentionally, but maybe it’s something where he has to be in here a couple days.
“I don’t think he’ll walk through the door and get a bunch of hugs. Might get some ‘daps’ and ‘Hey, good to see you.’ But maybe it will take a feeling-out process to see what he’s about.”
To recap the sequence of events, Cravens, whom the Redskins drafted with their second-round pick in 2016, informed the team’s front office on the eve of the 2017 season that he planned to retire.
The Redskins initially talked him out of doing so, giving him 30 days to think it over, then decided to put him on the NFL’s reserve/left squad list before that deadline. The designation meant that he wouldn’t play in 2017 but effectively erased the 2017 season from counting against his four-year rookie contract, leaving him with three full seasons when and if he returns.
The implication at the time was that Cravens was dealing with family matters.
Nonetheless, Craven’s decision to walk away from the Redskins upset some of his teammates, sources told The Washington Post at the time, who questioned his commitment.
On Tuesday, his agent, Fadde Mikhail, issued a statement that Cravens had “received medical clearance to resume all football activities” after completing a post-concussion syndrome treatment program and was looking forward to the 2018 season.
Cravens missed two games after suffering a concussion during his rookie season that he said at the time affected his vision. He also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during training camp last summer but seemed ready to make the switch from linebacker to safety in Year 2.
Mikhail’s disclosure that Cravens had been treated for post-concussion syndrome came as a surprise to his teammates. Hall said he didn’t even know there was a treatment program for that, adding that if Cravens had been dealing with that, it might affect his teammates’ view.
“I don’t think any of us, as players, really knew what was going on, or what is going on,” said Hall. “He’s kind of reserved in that sense. … It’s kind of hard to help someone if you don’t know what’s wrong.”
Said safety Deshazor Everett: “I didn’t know anything about it.”
Assuming Cravens does return in 2018, it’s unclear whether he’d continue with the Redskins, who control his rights. He could request a trade, or the team could trade him against his wishes.
“At the end of the day, it’s what the front-office wants,” Everett said of Cravens. “He was always a friend a brother to me. But at the end of the day I know it’s a business also. I’d be happy to play with him again, whether it’s here or elsewhere.”
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