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DeAngelo Hall's contract must be restructured if he wants to remain a Redskin.
This is where the Redskins were continually undone in 2012. The corners got no help from the safeties, while a succession of injuries meant that the projected starters hardly ever saw the field.
This gives Shanahan an interesting decision to make.
Brandon Meriweather had a big impact in the one (half) game that he played in, and he’ll return at strong safety for another year. What he isn’t, however, is a long-term solution. Although the crop of safeties in this year's draft class is deep, the priority will be to find a versatile free safety in the draft who could help out at both positions, if needed.
Waiting on Tanard Jackson isn’t worthwhile, so he won’t return to Washington this year. Madieu Williams underwhelmed at times, but he also put in some decent performances. He is a free agent, but he is worth retaining as a backup. He’s not a starter, but the Redskins remain the team on which he’ll be able to see the most playing time, so Williams shouldn’t count for much against the cap.
Cedric Griffin is another player set for free agency this year, but re-signing him as a third corner is less of a priority than seeking a player for the future. This year’s draft class is also deep at cornerback, so Shanahan has a lot of options here.
If he stays true to form, the coach will trade down and create more picks. More than one of these extra picks could be used on corners without a lot of controversy. Richard Crawford has a lot of talent, so he could again see playing time at nickel, as well as a punt returner in Brandon Banks’ absence.
However, there remains a concern with Crawford’s ability in coverage, and he was inactive for Weeks 7-13. He’s not quite ready, but his instincts are good and the coaches obviously see good things in him. His performances in the last two games brought a lot of praise, and picking off Tony Romo in the final game of the regular season will live long in the memories of both the Redkins organization and their fans.
He’s got breakout potential, no doubt, but Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall remain in his way.
Hall, in particular, needs to take a pay cut in order to remain with the team. He counts for $8,000,000 against the cap this year, but he is no longer worth that type of money. He showed what he was capable of as the defense got itself together down the stretch, but his price is still too high.
He’s stated that he’s willing to take that cut in order to be part of what’s happening in D.C., which is encouraging. Hall is of value to this team, and can make big plays to turn big games—he just has to do it consistently.