6 Best Options the Washington Redskins Have to Replace DeAngelo Hall
Roger Goodell hasn't gotten any nicer, and the salary cap hasn't magically made room.
The Redskins are still stuck.
Lodged between a rock and a hard place when it comes to addressing their team needs via free agency, Washington simply doesn't have the cash to sign a free agent or compete with other teams in an attempt to land the same guy.
Since releasing cornerback DeAngelo Hall last week—a move that helped free up some cap space—tight end Fred Davis remains a free agent and the Redskins are still without substantial starters or depth in the secondary.
Before entering the draft next month, it'd be nice to see the Redskins land Hall's replacement and maybe an extra body to help patch the holes.
Here are the team's best (perhaps, affordable) options.
6. Mike Jenkins
This is sure to be the least intriguing bit of the entire piece.
Not only is Mike Jenkins a former member of the Dallas Cowboys, he was also never very good.
The latter, however, would seem to make the market for the 27-year-old Jenkins somewhere in the neighborhood of what the Redskins are able to spend.
In addition to his poor play, Jenkins has also been riddled with injuries in his five-year career. Dealing with a bad hamstring, a sore left shoulder, a dislocated right one, back issues and a neck stinger, Jenkins hasn't proved any sort of durability or reliability when it comes to staying on the field.
That, too, helps the cap-strapped Redskins if they were to have any interest.
Jenkins wouldn't step in and make anyone forget about what No. 23 brought to the field last season. He's average at best, and he's not the playmaker Hall is.
But at 27 years old, he's not ancient. He's a first-round pick with good speed, desirable size and perhaps a change of scenery ignites a career resurgence.
Given the injuries and stat sheet, Jenkins should be affordable.
5. Tracy Porter
Another guy with a notable history of injuries, former Denver Broncos corner Tracy Porter is still on the market.
Most remembered for his 74-yard interception return for a touchdown against Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV as a member of the Saints, Porter signed a one-year deal in Denver after his four-year rookie contract was up in New Orleans.
Like Jenkins, Porter battled injuries last year—his in the form of a knee bruise and seizures. For the entire season, Porter played just six games, starting four.
There's a lot to like about Porter given his age (26), his size (5'11") and his knack for making big plays in the playoffs (he also forced a fumble in the 2010 NFC championship game and recorded an interception that sent the game into a beneficial overtime scenario). But if he can't stay on the field, the Redskins wouldn't be making much progress.
If the price is right and the Redskins can make it work, Porter is the type of player worth taking a chance on. When healthy, he's a starting playmaker.
4. E.J. Biggers
Cornerback E.J. Biggers is perhaps the most likely option for the Redskins.
Drafted in the seventh round in 2009, Biggers spent his first three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to Pro Football Focus, Biggers' 3.8 rating last season was good for 34th amongst corners who played at least 25 percent of their team's snaps. Biggers played 816.
Biggers is still available because he's inconsistent. Although he has great speed and good length, it's not demonstrated on every play. If he could put together his best football on every play, we wouldn't be talking about him as a viable option.
Another thing to think about regarding Biggers is his connection with Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris. Back in 2009, Morris was the head coach of the Bucs and ultimately the man who decided adding Biggers in the seventh round was a good idea. There could be a lasting connection there.
Although there's some promise with Biggers given his size and being just 25 years old, teams aren't about to overpay for inconsistency.
The Redskins, however, are currently thrift shopping in search of any sort of depth.
3. Michael Huff
Although Michael Huff has played a majority of his seven-year career at his more natural safety position, he still belongs on this list.
Originally drafted seventh overall by the Raiders in 2006, Huff was a victim of the latest cap clearing in Oakland.
In addition to the Redskins' deficiency at cornerback, the safety position remains an area of need. If they could somehow find a way to land Huff, he'd be a safety first (which helps the starting corners), while at the same time providing the ability to drop down and play corner on the outside.
Of those four, only Dallas currently has less cap space than the Redskins, according to Sportrac.
If adding youth is key, a guy like 30-year-old Michael Huff won't be all that exciting. But in no way is his talent diminished.
Huff is a Swiss army knife on the football field, demonstrating elite athleticism and versatility. He's a worker, a solid locker room presence and a boost in any team's secondary.
The chances don't seem great, but the Redskins would benefit by way of a guy like Huff.
2. Antoine Winfield
Which is why it was so surprising to hear he was a cap casualty and released on March 12.
There still seems to be a lot of unknown surrounding Winfield and his future. Although his talents would most certainly fill a void and help drastically in Washington, the veteran may be looking to end his career with a Super Bowl contender.
According to sources, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has also been in touch with Winfield since his release, discussing the possibility of returning to Minnesota at a lesser salary.
Winfield did miss significant time in 2011, so his durability shouldn't be a forgotten factor. His talents, though, are elite (top-rated corner last year by PFF) and his leadership qualities and overall experience are an added bonus.
Coming up with a salary figure for Winfield isn't easy. His age and being one year removed from injury wouldn't bode well for most guys looking for a deal. But his play last season warrants something moving forward.
If the Redskins get lucky, landing a guy like Winfield would give the team and their fans some assurance. At least for the short-term.
1. DeAngelo Hall
I tried to make this point when I received—what seemed like—endless comments regarding DeAngelo Hall and how terrible a football player he is/was.
For those same people, ask yourself this: Is the current Redskins secondary better or worse now that your wish has been granted and Hall is no longer on the team?
If you believe Mr. Nobody is better than Hall at the cornerback position, then you have more to worry about than just your favorite football team.
Truth is, Hall is the Redskins' best option at corner. He's familiar with the system, he has the respect of his coaches, his teammates like him and he's not nearly as terrible as everyone says he is (minus-2.4 according to PFF last season).
Overpaid? Sure. But that's why he and his salary were cut. Bringing Hall back for a reasonable amount of money is a no-brainer for Washington at this point.
Despite a career in the NFL that seems to have lasted well more than a decade, Hall is just 29 years old, he plays with a style that can generate turnovers and he's a fit in the locker room.