Hall's probable departure could leave glaring hole in Redskins secondary
Rumors have been circulating about the possible cut of starting Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Hall has been a full time starter for the Redskins since 2009, and has started all 16 games the last three seasons. He's averaged 85 combined tackles per season since, and has 19 interceptions since joining the club in 2008.
The 29 year old cornerback is scheduled to make $8 million dollars this season, and for a team strapped for cash under the penalty imposed by the NFL last season(taking away $36 million in cap space over two years), the Redskins may be forced to cut the three time pro bowler, in favor of a younger, cheaper, (taller) option. Hall's contract carries no dead cap hit for the remaining two season, so unless he is willing to take a huge pay cut, his days in burgundy and gold are likely done.
This leaves a huge hole in an already porous secondary.
The positive of cutting Hall is the money the Skins can save this year and next. The savings could allow them to pursue other options at the position in free agency. So far, the Redskins have been linked to cornerbacks Sean Smith(Dolphins - 6'3" 218 age 25), Antoine Cason(Chargers - 6'1" 195 age 26), Derek Cox(Jags - 6'1" 195 age 26) and Greg Toler(Cardinals - 6'0" 192 age 28). Besides the youth and savings that could be obtained by signing one of these four, the biggest advantage to the Redskins would be the size they bring to the position.
Current starters Hall and Josh Wilson are both under 6'0" tall(with Wilson being a meager 5'9)". This is a huge disadvantage when dealing with larger, more physical receivers. Jim Haslett's defense requires a lot of zero, and man-over coverages, as he loves to bring pressure, and uses these defensive schemes on the back end. Having taller, more physical boundary corners will allow Haslett to more productively scheme against opposing offenses without having to worry so much on the back end.
If Hall is lost, and one of the four previously mentioned defensive backs is signed, I would propose moving either Richard Crawford(5'11" 188 age 22), or a drafted rookie with some size, to boundary corner opposite our new free agent, and letting the smaller, quicker Wilson man the nickle spot.
As a nickle corner, Wilson can excel against some smaller, quicker receivers, where his height won't be AS much of a concern. Now Wilson can surly play outside in cover 2 situations, but in sub packages, I feel his best use is in the slot.
Some options in April's draft at cornerback are:
David Amerson(NC State) 6'1" 205
Logan Ryan(Rutgers) 5'11' 191
Blidi Wreh-Wilson(UConn) 6'1" 195
Robert Alford(Southeast LA) 5'11" 188
Darius Slay(Miss St) 6'0" 192
Jordan Poyer(Oregon St) 6'0" 191
Brandon McGee(Miami) 5'11" 193
Tharold Simon(LSU) 6'2" 202