This post has been updated.
Three-time Pro Bowl honoree DeAngelo Hall said in a radio interview Monday evening he is “probably 95 percent sure” he will retire before the 2018 NFL season, amending his intentions after telling reporters at teammate Ryan Kerrigan’s charity golf outing earlier in the day that he was definitely done playing.
The Washington Redskins’ defensive back had said around noon at the golf event that he was ready to call it quits after 14 years — a decision that had been lingering throughout the offseason. The 34-year-old said he was mulling options in the media, as a coach or in a front office, but said: “I’m not playing. That’s for damn sure,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Redskins are believed to have a front-office position open for Hall if he wants it.
The team, however, tweeted Monday evening that “DeAngelo Hall has not yet officially decided to retire despite reports.” Hall subsequently went on 106.7 the Fan to address the contradiction.
“Am I done playing football?” Hall said on the radio. “I’m probably 95 percent sure I’m done playing football. But I wanted to do it the right way. I wanted to give the Washington Redskins organization the respect they deserve and obviously do it with them when the time was right. … And I wanted to do it at a press conference. I was in L.A. with NFL Network a couple weeks ago and I wanted to do it then, but the time wasn’t right. [Former Dallas Cowboys tight end] Jason Witten had just announced. I didn’t want to take anything away from him.
“I just wanted to wait for the right opportunity for myself to do it. I wanted my one last hurrah. I didn’t want to announce it over social media or anywhere else besides in that Redskins building that I spent the last 10 years of my career on stage with the group of guys who brought me there.”
Hall went on to explain that he had been interviewed by reporters while practicing before the golf outing and didn’t mean to formally announce a retirement. Hall said he was not misquoted.
“I’ve been meeting and talking with a little bit of everybody,” Hall said in the morning, according to the Times-Dispatch. “Organizations to networks. I’m still undecided as of now. “I’m not playing. That’s for damn sure. But, yeah, all the other stuff is still on the table.”
The Redskins put out two tweets Monday afternoon thanking Hall for his time with the team and used the hashtag “#ThankYouDHall.”
Several players also tweeted out memories of playing with Hall.
Hall’s 43 career interceptions are first among active players and 63rd in NFL history. He returned five of those for touchdowns, the 31st most all-time.
Hall, the Redskins’ longest-tenured player, has spent nine full seasons in Washington. He joined the team in 2008 as one of the most dominant cornerbacks in the league and switched to safety late in his career. His 23 interceptions with the Redskins are 10th in franchise history. Since Hall was a rookie in 2004, only Ed Reed (52), Charles Woodson (49) and Asante Samuel (49) have had more interceptions.
“I had a vision of a gold jacket, but the injuries the last couple years have been very hard on me,” Hall told the Times-Dispatch. “So that’s kind of out of the question now. But who’s to say I can’t get in there some other way? That’s kind of my focus. I still want a gold jacket, whether I can get one as an [executive], a coach — I’m going to get me a damn gold jacket, believe that.”
Hall was the No. 8 pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2004 draft out of Virginia Tech and played four seasons there before being traded to Oakland in 2008. He played just eight games with the Raiders before being released and was quickly picked up by the Redskins.
Hall would become the fourth defensive back to leave the Redskins this offseason. Cornerback Kendall Fuller was traded to Kansas City, and Su’a Cravens was traded to Denver. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland signed with the Carolina Panthers but failed his physical. He is unsigned but not expected to return to Washington.
D.J. Swearinger returns as a starting safety while Deshazor Everett and Montae Nicholson are expected to compete to start at the other safety position. The team drafted Penn State safety Troy Apke in the fourth round and signed third-team all-American safety Quin Blanding out of Virginia as an undrafted free agent. Second-year safety Fish Smithson is also on the roster.
Roster moves: The Redskins signed Connecticut linebacker Vontae Diggs, Auburn center Casey Dunn and Texas Southern wide receiver Darvin Kidsy on Monday. All three undrafted free agents were part of the tryout group during rookie minicamp last weekend. The team also waived wide receiver Mikah Holder and center Sean Welsh. The two were part of the undrafted free agent class signed by the team after the draft. Welsh received the left-squad designation after announcing he’d retire following the first day of minicamp on Friday. Dunn and Kidsy seem to replace the positions lost from Holder and Welsh. Organized team activities begin June 22.
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