Hall's release in a word: stunning

November, 5, 2008
11/05/08
3:43
PM ET
 
 Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US Presswire
 The Raiders will end up paying DeAngelo Hall $8 million for just eight games with the team.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

A day after the bombshell hit, the Raiders are, indeed, cutting ties with cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

I had time to sleep on this and I emerged today with one prevailing word: Stunning.

Folks, things like this don't happen very often. A 24-year-old player who was acquired eight months earlier and who was signed to seven-year, $70 million-plus contract just don't get cut in his first season with a club. Also consider Oakland gave up two draft picks, including a second-rounder in April, to acquire Hall.

Hall was supposed to represent the new breed of Raiders. He was supposed to team up with Nnamdi Asomugha to form the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Oakland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said no other pair was close to his stars.

At a June minicamp, I spent time with Hall. He said he talked with Raiders owner Al Davis as his trade and ensuing new contract were being worked out. He said he felt Davis was ready to turn the organization around and that he was happy to be part of it.

Now he is gone. Stunning.

This was one of the worst trades in recent memory. The Raiders thought they were getting a shut-down player for seven years. All they got was eight games and it cost them $8 million. A million a week for a player on a 2-6 team -- nice. Don't forget those two draft picks. Think the Raiders could use more young players to develop?

This was a disaster. More cuts could be on the way and other high-priced 2008 free-agent signings such as Javon Walker, Tommy Kelly, Gibril Wilson and Kwame Harris could potentially be on the way out at some point, either this season or in the offseason.

I never thought I'd say this, but this bizarre turn of events rivals Al Davis' infamous press conference to announce the firing of Lane Kiffin on Sept. 30 as the strangest moment of the NFL season.

Don't think for a moment Kiffin isn't laughing uncontrollably right now. He said at the NFL owners meetings, a week after the Hall deal, that he thought Oakland needed some help against the run not the pass. He often called out underperforming players. He made reference to the roster not being very deep. Now, after Kiffin's absence, the Raiders are addressing the very problems he pointed out.

Now that his Oakland days are behind him, Hall will get a job. He could either be claimed or signed as a free agent. Don't be surprised at all if Hall is wearing another uniform by Sunday. Teams such as the Giants, Dallas or New England could have an interest in him.

Hall, who leads the AFC West with three interceptions, will move on. And so will the Raiders. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Meanwhile, Oakland also made some other roster moves.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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