Redskins cut DeAngelo Hall
On the eve of the start of free agency, the Redskins also signed tackle Tony Pashos to a one-year deal, restructured the contract of defensive end Adam Carriker and tendered a qualifying offer to restricted free agent nose tackle Chris Baker.
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Hall was cut because the Redskins were over the cap due to an $18 million sanction imposed for the way they structured contracts during the 2010 uncapped season. Without the penalty, Hall would almost certainly have remained in Washington.
"I talked to a player that has played extremely hard for us the last couple of years and I had to tell him he was released today," coach Mike Shanahan said. "And that guy has really played extremely hard for us, and that's DeAngelo Hall.
"He's given everything I've asked him to give. He's gotten better each year. He's done the little things the right way and when you have to tell somebody that they're not going to be on your football team, it's a little hard, especially when your plan was to take care of the guys that took care of you."
Hall, 29, had two years remaining on the six-year, $54 million deal he signed at the end of the 2008 season. He was due to make $7.5 million in salary in 2013.
The talkative cornerback was a thorough mix of big plays, blown coverages and volatile statements in his 4½ seasons in Washington. He had four interceptions last season for a defense that ranked 30th in the league against the pass.
But the Redskins are almost certainly better with him than without him. They now have another major hole to fill on the roster in addition to safety and right tackle -- and they have little money to spend because of the cap penalty.
"We're not able to go out in free agency," Shanahan said. "We might be able to do it for one guy or two guys, depending on what the money is. That is just the hand we were dealt and are dealing with."
Carriker was a candidate to be cut had he not agreed to rework his deal. Instead, he'll be back for a fourth season in Washington after missing most of 2012 with a knee injury.
One player not in danger of getting the ax -- or even a lesser contract -- is linebacker London Fletcher, who had left ankle surgery last week but plans to return for a 16th NFL season.
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"He would not be a guy that I would talk to about taking a pay cut," Shanahan said.
The Redskins did manage to find enough money to sign some players, although none of the contracts are blockbusters.
Pashos has played in eight NFL seasons with Baltimore, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Cleveland. He was out of the league last year with a foot injury and is expected to provide depth at tackle.
Baker appeared in 14 games as a backup for the Redskins last year.
The Redskins also re-signed five players who were set to become restricted or unrestricted free agents: left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, linebacker Rob Jackson, tight end Logan Paulsen, long snapper Nick Sundberg and fullback Darrel Young.