For all those who want to cut DeAngelo Hall, I'm here to tell you that would be a mistake. Not only is he our best defensive back, but he's also a team captain(voted on by his teammates), a savvy veteran, and a local product who wants to finish his career in D.C. Is he overpaid?..................yes. Is he worth the money?.................no. Not because he not a high-caliber player, but rather due to the fact that we are stretched to the limits with the salary cap, and the $18 million in cap penalties. Hall taking a pay cut can greatly help the Redskins.
Now, there is another way Hall can help this team. By moving him permanently to free safety. Like the idea?..............I thought you might! I have been adamant about this move since the end of training camp last year, and I think it's an idea that fits perfectly, and here is why.
Hall has good speed and instincts; we all know this. He also likes to gamble at corner. Sometimes these gambles pay off, and other times they don't. Hall is the type of defender who does a good job of keeping his eyes in the backfield on plays, and reading the quarterback. This can be good and bad. When he's good, he baits quarterbacks, often resulting in a broken up pass or interception. When he's bad, it can result in him biting on double moves and getting beat deep.
In the run department, Hall's tackling has improved from his younger days. He will still miss some tackles, but he is a much better tackler than five years ago. He is also good at blitzing, often finding a path to the quarterback to disrupt timing, and get the occasional sack.
At safety, Hall would be able to combine the strengths of his game(speed, reaction, ball skills and aggressiveness) to make what I feel would be a heck of a free safety. He could keep his eyes in the backfield more often, use his reaction skills to recognize plays before they happen, use his speed to provide over-the-top help, and use his hitting skills to separate the ball from receivers.
I also feel that this move could help him prolong his career much like it did for the Packers Charles Woodson.
The Redskins are hurting in the safety department. You can say the safety spot cost this team at least two games last season. We are bringing back Meriweather(as it stands now), Doughty(who should be cut), Gomes and Pugh. If Hall were to make the switch, he and Meriweather could form a solid tandem in the defensive backfield, that would no longer be a liability to this team. Both our starting safeties would be 29, which is hardly considered old for the position. This move could allow the Redskins to sign a cheaper free agent backup at corner, and go after a starter in the 2013 draft to play opposite Josh Wilson.
Some great targets in the second round in this years draft would be Jordan Poyer, David Amerson, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Logan Ryan and Robert Alford. Aside from Alford, these prospects are on the taller side, and could give us some much needed size at the cornerback position. We also have Richard Crawford and possibly Chase Minnifield, who could return healthy this spring, to challenge for a roster spot.
Like the idea? Let me hear your thoughts on both the pay cut(he's already said he would re-structure his deal to remain a Redskin, and we know re-structuring doesn't always involve a pay cut), and the move to safety.