Washington Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall recently capped off his 14th NFL season. Set to become a free agent at the new league year, Hall will weigh the options for the next step in his career.
In the coming days, long-time Washington Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall will be faced with a question all players encounter at some point in their careers: Is it time to hang up?
"You know what, I've never done this before," Hall said this week about flirting with the idea of retirement. "So, I don't know what I'll weigh, but I guess I'll know what it looks like when it happens. I'm excited though. I'm excited to see what's next, whether I'm going to try to play again, whether I'm going to do something else. So, I'm excited."
Hall, 34, recently completed his 14th season in the NFL. He appeared in just five games with two starts in 2017, recording 14 tackles with two passes defensed. The Virginia Tech product started the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he continued to rehab a torn ACL suffered in Sept. 2016.
He would return to game action in Week 9 against the Seattle Seahawks and was a standout for Washington's defense, recording five tackles with two passes defensed including a breakup on a game-ending Hail Mary out of Russell Wilson in the back of the end zone.
But Hall's playing time diminished in the weeks following the Redskins' victory over the Seahawks.
In Washington's final two games of the season he was a healthy inactive. It was his second full-time season at safety after he switched over from cornerback midway through the 2015 season.
"It's been hard on D-Hall," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden last month. "I think as productive as a player he's been in the past, coming off this injury and then moving positions and not really quite getting the reps that you need to play that position when it's new has been difficult for him. But he has been excellent as far as being still a leader in the locker room and the defensive back room showing guys how to prepare and work.
"He's been somebody the younger guys can look up to and it's just been a treat having him around. I'm glad he is here even though it hasn't been productive for us, but he has been very good in other realms of pro football and what's necessary in the locker room and meetings standpoint."
Hall is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, leaving open the possibility that he could re-sign with the Redskins again or potentially another team.
"Yeah, absolutely," Hall responded when asked about playing again if an opportunity arises. "Absolutely. You always get asked, 'Why don't you want to do X, Y, Z,? Why don't you want to do this? Why don't you want to do that?' To me, it has to be worth it. And so, I've been blessed for a lot of years and I'm thankful for that. And so, I have the luxury of kind of deciding what I want to do. It just has to be the right situation, the right fit."
However, if Hall has played for the final time he put together a career that few can match. A first-round selection for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2004 NFL Draft, Hall's recorded 811 tackles with 132 passes defensed, 43 interceptions, 11 fumbles forced and five defensive touchdowns.
The 5-foot-10, 200 pounder has been selected to three Pro Bowls and tied an NFL single-game record with four interceptions against the Chicago Bears in 2010.
Additionally, he became the first player in NFL history to record five career fumble returns for touchdowns and five career interception returns for touchdowns
Hall said his legacy will probably go down as someone who was "a great athlete, great competitor, fiery at times, a bit of a butthole at times, but ultimately a team guy."
"Probably didn't start out that way, but I'd like to definitely be thought of as a guy who thought more about the team than himself," Hall said. "Probably not a great corner, but a great football player, a guy who knew how to play football and tried to play it the right way and to the best of his ability. That's kind of what I would like my legacy to be."
Hall could potentially transition over into a front office or coaching position after feeling like a "glorified coach" for the defensive backs in recent years.
"I do think now that's something that I would like to do," Hall said. "I don't know if it's something I would like to do right now, but it's definitely something I would like to do at some point. But, like I said, it has to be the right situation. I can remember some whispers were happening with Virginia Tech, and I kind of threw some feelings out. Got some good responses, so that's definitely something that's up my alley. I love Coach Fuente, I wish him nothing but the best, but if he ever walks away, I will be trying to make my way down to Blacksburg. He's good to go for a long time now, so I don't know if that'll ever happen.
"But, I never really thought about coaching until kind of some whispers of him possibly leaving came about. But, like I said, I don't know. I don't know if I'll be holding a [microphone] like you guys, or trying to play again, or in the front office more in a suit. I don't know what's in store yet, but I'm optimistic."