The 13-year veteran has missed significant portions of the season for the last three years with injuries, but expressed his desire to return to Washington with the potential of restructuring the final year of his contract.
While Washington is still in the midst of hiring a replacement for defensive coordinator Joe Barry, Hall believes he can still be a valuable asset to the team, for whom he’s played nine seasons.
Hall, 33, tore the ACL in his right knee during a Week 3 matchup with the Giants at MetLife Stadium, marking the third straight season that he has missed significant time due to an injury suffered during the team's third game.
“If I come back I already told them I’m not playing in the third game, so y’all go ahead and mark me off that week because I will not be playing,” Hall said. “I joke about it because if they come to the conclusion that we don’t want you or you’re too injury-prone, then it is what it is, I’ll sit back and try to figure out hey, do I want to go somewhere else and play because I do feel like I can still play?”
Hall transitioned to safety after tearing his Achilles in 2014. He missed several weeks the following year with a turf toe injury but managed to return at the end of the season during the team’s playoff chase.
The Virginia Tech product never suffered any kind of major injury through his first 10 seasons in the league, so the last few years have been a reality check for the veteran. Hall knows injuries are part of the game and that they may carry a stigma when roster decisions need to be made.
“My body can take as many [recoveries] as I allow it to take from a recovery standpoint,” Hall said. “But like I said if I get hurt again, I’m done, I’m tired of it. Anybody can push their self to keep doing something over and over again. It’s frustrating because to not be hurt for so long and then to just compound them back to back to back as has been kind of hard. It’s a lot different coming back from any of those injuries playing corner than it is playing safety.”
Once the team begins an assessment of the roster and contract situations, Hall said he’s open to restructuring the final year of his base salary to become more incentivized if it means helping the team achieve some free agency goals.
“I just feel like I’m stealing money, man,” Hall said. “I signed that deal four years ago and been hurt every year since then. You know I want to ultimately do what is best for this team as well. I understand it takes some sacrifice and give and take to be able to put the right pieces out there on the field. And that’s everybody collectively trying to understand that it’s not just about the money, it’s about yeah getting some money but we got to make sure we are paying other guys too to be to put the best team out there on the football field. As you can see we need some help in other positions around here, too.”
Head coach Jay Gruden said in his final press conference of the season that leadership plays a big factor into how he and the front office assess players and free agents. Losing Hall, along with other veterans such as
While Hall downplayed the importance of those specific individuals to the team’s leadership void, as Washington considers its options, that quality will certainly play a factor in who returns to the roster.
“I feel like we have so many guys in this locker room who stepped up throughout the whole season that even though I was missed, I think we had other guys step up and really show that they can help lead this team as well,” Hall said. “I don’t think it’s one man show. It’s not just myself.”