Why the Hall not?
That's my attitude towards the Redskins signing DeAngelo Hall, recently released by the Raiders. The move doesn't punch their ticket to the Super Bowl or even to the playoffs, but he can make a good team better. In short, lots of upside at a very low cost and very little risk.
How can a player that the Raiders rejected make you better? A few things are in play here:
- The Raiders didn't want Hall's contract at least as much as they didn't want the player. He had a 7-year, $70 million deal that had an odd provision in it. There were two bonuses that totaled about $16 million that would become guaranteed only if Hall was to suffer a serious injury. Hall wasn't performing well enough to justify that huge risk, in the judgement of the Raiders. While one would have to question why Al Davis would sign him to such a deal in the first place, it's easy to see why they would want to get themselves out from under it sooner rather than later.
- Hall wasn't a good fit in the Raiders' defensive scheme. According to Bucky Brooks at SI.com, Oakland plays an aggressive bump and run scheme where the corners need to jam the receivers at the line. In the Redskins scheme he will play off of the receiver more and be able to assume a ball hawking role. That's more suited to Hall's style.
- Quite simply, the Raiders had a choice to make. They could wait it out and see if he would develop into the kind of corner they were paying for. Or they could cut their losses. They chose the latter.
The Redskins are paying Hall a pro-rated $1 million this year. They can cut him at any time if he's not performing or if the notorious "MeAngelo" shows up and he becomes a locker room distraction.
There is every reason to think that he'll make the secondary better. Shawn Springs has been out of the lineup several times this year so their depth has been tested. Hall has three interceptions this year, more than the Redskins' corners have combined.
Apparently Hall wants to stick around Ashburn for the long term. He told Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com:
"It's a one-year deal for now, but we'll work something out long-term. That's why I chose them. I don't want to hit the market in the offseason and have to move my family again this year."
If the Redskins decide to let Springs and his $8.5 million 2009 number walk after the season, Hall could be his replacement.
Some have asked about Hall returning punts. It's not something that he's done much, 13 times for a respectable 9.5-yard average over his four-plus years in the league. The fact that he's been his team's starting corner for most of his career might explain why he's had so few opportunities.
A player will have to be released once Hall passes his physical, which should happen on Saturday. Candidates to get the ax are Justin Tryon, Rob Jackson, and, since Springs could shift back to play safety if necessary, Mike Green.
Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.
Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play.
A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams.
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His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago.
McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith.
Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.
It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.
Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins.
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It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.
After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.
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Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.
Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.
His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.
In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.
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