DeAngelo Hall was the eighth overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft for the Atlanta Falcons, and the brash, playmaking cornerback was pretty impactful right away. In the 2005 and 2006 seasons, he put up a combined 10 interceptions, four fumble recoveries, and two defensive touchdowns. If you had to guess after his first three seasons, you would have pegged him as a Falcon for a decade or more.
That didn’t happen, of course. The Falcons brought in a new regime in 2008 with Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff, and the team shipped him out for a second round pick. Hall signed a disastrous multi-year deal with Oakland and was cut after just eight games, and it looked like his career might be flaming out.
Of course, that didn’t happen, either. Hall spent about a decade in Washington, and while they weren’t all stellar seasons, he wound up putting together a long, fine career. His last legitimately quality season might have been 2015, but after announcing his retirement today, Hall ends a 14 year career with 43 interceptions and some legitimately terrific years in there. He’s not a future Hall of Famer by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a good one.
I’ll remember those first few years in Atlanta fondly, when his playmaking potential seemed limitless despite his propensity for getting burnt at the worst possible moment, and the time he and Mike Smith almost got in a sideline fight during Hall’s Washington years. You’ll likely hear him in a studio at some point—he says he wants to get into an NFL front office or broadcasting—and we wish him well in retirement.