Now that DeAngelo Hall has agreed to take a pay cut, the conventional wisdom is that he is a lock to make the 53-man roster. But is he really a sure thing?
Hall’s contract reduces his salary from $4.25 million to $2.3 million. He is in the final year of a four-year contract he signed in 2014. Including the prorated signing bonus from that deal, Hall’s cap number dropped from $5.06 million to $3.11 million.
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The contract modification has been expected ever since Hall told reporters that he would be amenable to a pay cut at the end of last season. He has missed 31 games with injuries in the last three seasons and Hall is realistic enough to realize that such a track record would not support a $4.25 million salary.
Jay Gruden seemed to be happy about Hall enabling the organization to keep him on the roster at a more reasonable price.
“He’s kind of been a mainstay here and he kind of keeps the boat from sinking from time to time,” said Gruden. “There’s some volatile people in that defensive back room from time to time and he’s a calming guy, if you can believe that [laughter]. D-Hall is. He’s been great. He’s been a great leader for us. Unfortunately for him, injuries have shortened his season. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get him back at a later date, but if we don’t have him back when we want to, at least he’ll be in the room and still have a major influence on the team and the defense.”
It looks like Gruden has some doubt about when Hall, who has not participated in OTAs or minicamp while rehabbing a torn ACL he sustained in Week 3 last year, will be ready to participate in training camp. Hall is unsure, saying that he would just have to see how the rehab progresses. It could be early in camp, it could be later.
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So, if he isn’t sure when he will be ready then you have to think that the PUP list could be one thing that keeps him off of the 53-man roster. If he suffers any sort of setback in his rehab he could end up starting the year on PUP, which would keep him sidelined for a minimum of six weeks.
There also is the possibility that he could be beaten out. The Redskins are likely to carry a maximum of five safeties. D. J. Swearinger and Su’s Cravens are locked in as the starters. Montae Nicholson was picked in the fourth round, a status that usually locks in a roster spot. Deshazor Everett is developing as a safety and is a core special teams player so he likely is safe. That leaves Hall competing with Will Blackmon and Josh Evans for the final spot. He might be the favorite in that three-man competition but he’s far from a sure bet.
None of the money in Hall’s revised contract is guaranteed. If the Redskins cut Hall they would save an additional $2.3 million in cap money.