After a long offseason of talking to teams but not doing anything, Leon Hall seems to be close towards signing with one. The Cincinnati Bengals or New York Giants are in the lead, but the Arizona Cardinals are also in the picture.
Hall is visiting with the Giants, and it seems that it’ll come down to either them or the Bengals, the team he has played for his entire NFL career, beginning in 2007. About two months ago, the Cardinals looked like they’re a bit stronger in the picture for Hall, but recent moves, including the extension of Tyrann Mathieu, suggests they’re not interested in the veteran defensive back, or at least not enough to join the thick of this competition.
Hall, 31, had back surgery in the offseason, which has led to a hit on his market value. He isn’t a shutdown corner or a guy to be 1-2 for contending teams, but he fills a nice role as a slot corner and is a very good backup to have, as long as he stays healthy. He’s suffered from two torn Achilles injuries in his career, but missed only three games over the last two seasons.
Earlier in the offseason, Hall met with the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Giants and Cardinals, but the Bengals were always in the picture, and still are, as long as Hall doesn’t ask for too much money. He had a base salary of $7.7 million in 2015, coming with a $9.6 million cap hit.
He was ranked 33rd out of 111 cornerbacks by PFF, which means that despite his injuries, he’s still a good cornerback, intercepting three passes and defending 16 of them over the last two years. He returned an interception for a touchdown last season, the third of his career. He had the second best season of his career tackle-wise in 2014, finishing with 69 tackles. He started in only four games for the Bengals last season, playing 14 overall. No matter where he’ll sign, the initial plan isn’t to use him as a starter.