DeAngelo Hall is a veteran leader and one of the game's top playmaking defensive backs, which is why the Washington Redskins would have been crazy to let the talented cornerback escape as a free agent this offseason.
We use the past tense because Hall has been signed to a new four-year contract that very well could keep him in burgundy for the remainder of his career, according to Dianna Russini of NBC affiliate News4 in D.C.
Hall will never be a king in the world of advanced stats because he has a well-known tendency to get burned. His coverage can be inconsistent, which is at times frustrating. However, the key is that he's an all-or-nothing cornerback—the closest thing you'll see to a home run hitter in an NFL secondary.
He wasn't just in on five turnovers during a 2013 season that was otherwise ugly for that Washington defense, but the man actually scored three touchdowns himself. The 41 interceptions he's recorded since 2005 is the third-highest total in the NFL, and he's now found the end zone nine times in his career.
|Most interceptions since 2005|
|1. Asante Samuel||48||639||7|
|2. Ed Reed||43||908||6|
|3. DeAngelo Hall||41||781||8|
|4. Charles Woodson||40||581||11|
|5. Charles Tillman||32||648||9|
|Pro Football Reference|
The 'Skins know that their defense is lacking, but they're also well aware that players like Hall can mask that. In 2012, when they finally broke through and won the NFC East for the first and only time this century, only four teams had more takeaways than they did. That total dropped from 31 that season to 26 in 2013, which ranked in the middle of the pack but would have been a hell of a lot worse if not for Hall's presence.
Four years is a lot for a guy who has already spent 10 seasons in the NFL, even if Hall is only 30 years old. That said, he's the type of player who doesn't rely too heavily on his athleticism. He's savvy enough to be effective for several years to come, even if he loses half a step. Plus, there's a strong possibility he makes a successful transformation to safety, just as we saw with somewhat similar corners such as Rod and Charles Woodson.
Considering that according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport he's only getting $5.25 million guaranteed as part of that four-year contract, I'd say this was a favorable deal for the Redskins.
That leadership aspect is also a big factor. This is a fairly young team that is attempting to rebuild the secondary. The Redskins spent three of their 2013 draft picks on defensive backs, and with there being a good chance Josh Wilson walks as a free agent, sophomore corner David Amerson could be counted on to start in 2014.
If that's the case, Hall will play an important role in helping Amerson become a reliable starter, which could work out well when you consider the similarities in their respective playing styles.