DeAngelo Hall has had a long road in the NFL since being drafted eighth overall out of Virginia Tech in 2004.
The cornerback, who played 14 seasons with the Falcons, Raiders and Redskins, announced his retirement Monday in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Hall had 43 interceptions total in his career and scored 10 defensive touchdowns — five pick-sixes and five fumbles recovered and taken to the house.
The free agent had an offer in hand from Rams coach Sean McVay, but in a secondary role as a locker room leader — essentially getting a free ticket to the best seat in the house on the sidelines.
Hall turned down the Rams and decided to hang up his cleats.
Hall has plenty of options available; he has offers from both within the game as an assistant coach or front-office person and beyond the game in the broadcast booth, according to the Times-Dispatch.
Said Hall of those options, “I’ve been meeting and talking with a little bit of everybody. Organizations to networks. I’m still undecided as of now.
“I’m not playing. That’s for damn sure. But yeah, all the other stuff is still on the table.”
Hall said the goal of his last few years in the league was to bolster his Hall of Fame case, which includes three Pro Bowl nods and a share of the NFL’s single-game interception record (he had four picks in a 2010 game against the Bears). Unfortunately, injuries hampered those efforts.
“I had a vision of a gold jacket, but the injuries the last couple years have been very hard on me,” he said. “So that’s kind of out of the question now. But who’s to say I can’t get in there some other way? That’s kind of my focus. I still want a gold jacket, whether I can get one as an exec, a coach — I’m going to get me a damn gold jacket, believe that.”
In an era where more and more players’ love of the game is coming into question, as players still in their prime retire due to concussion fears or to spend more time with their families, Hall was and remains a true-blue NFL die-hard.
He will likely get a space on the Redskins’ Ring of Honor as a consolation prize; he certainly ranks among the best to wear a Washington uniform on the defensive side of the ball and has been an iconic part of the Skins for a decade.
Likewise, Hall’s strong media presence makes him a good candidate to end up on one of those network studio shows where so many guys share a long desk (five on ESPN “Sunday NFL Countdown” alone) that there is plenty of room to add more voices to the conversation.
There are also 16 broadcast crews at games, any one of which could add Hall as a color man.
Or, if he goes into coaching, he had the last four seasons of his career spent mainly on the injured list, and with all that free time plus his love of the game, he’s had plenty of time to essentially be an apprentice while still a player.
The Redskins’ front office, which has had almost no sustained success in Daniel Snyder’s entire tenure as owner of the team, could always use a competent hand with strong enough ties to the team. If Hall is more Ozzie Newsome than Matt Millen, it will augur well for the draft war room and for free agent decisions for the team in the future.
Hall wants into Canton. Even though he’s no longer making his case on the field, he has decades ahead of him to get there in other ways.
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