Here's a fun stat regarding the cornerback salaries in the NFC East right now.
DeAngelo Hall signed a new contract with Washington on Tuesday, earning him a reported $16 million over the next four years. Talk about an up and down year for the veteran cornerback, who was released this time last offseason and later re-signed for a fraction of the cost.
Hall's salary dropped from roughly $8 million to just above $1 million in 2013, and he responded by recording four interceptions and 78 tackles – making him one of few decent members of a porous Redskins defense.
Back to the fun stat: Hall's new salary of about $4.2 million per year makes him the second-highest paid cornerback among the Redskins, Giants and Eagles. Only Philadelphia's Cary Williams, playing for roughly $5.6 million per season, makes more among those three squads.
If Hall joined the Cowboys, he'd only have the third-highest salary among cornerbacks on the roster. Brandon Carr's salary currently checks in at roughly $10 million per season, and the recent extension of Orlando Scandrick's contract nets him about $5 million a year.
On this roster, Hall would nearly be the fourth-highest paid corner, since Morris Claiborne's rookie contract as the No. 6 overall pick pays him about $4 million a year.
This of course raises an interesting point about the corners in the NFC East – especially when you consider that three of the four teams in the division finished No. 20 or worse in pass defense.
We're familiar by now with the Cowboys' problems. After a good 2012 showing, Carr's performance dipped in the switch to the Tampa 2 defense, which makes his $50 million contract an easy target this offseason.
Indeed, the Cowboys have about $91 million – roughly $20 million per season – tied up in their top cornerbacks for a unit that finished 30th in the league. The Eagles brought up the rear with the NFL's 32nd pass defense, though their top three corners cost them about $25 million -- roughly $9 million per year. [embedded_ad]
Ironically enough, the team that finished highest in team pass defense, New York, did it using the least expensive cornerbacks. A lot of that has to do with the stellar play of safeties Antrel Rolle and Will Hill. But Prince Amukamara had a strong season on the right side, starting all 16 games and making 76 tackles – though he nabbed just one pick.
In place of injured $4 million man Corey Webster, the Giants got a season's worth of starts out of minimum salary players Terrell Thomas and Trumaine McBride. The pair combined for 17 starts, 90 tackles and three picks, and neither player made more than $750,000.
Both players were free agents, however, and now it looks likely that the Giants will have to invest – either in free agency or the draft – with an eye on the cornerback spot across from Amukamara.
What does it all mean? Honestly, it puts the Redskins in a pretty enviable position. Hall is secure for the foreseeable future on an affordable contract, and he'll likely be opposite David Amerson, also on an affordable rookie contract. Amerson moved Josh Wilson into the nickel back spot last year, which doesn't bode well for Wilson's hopes of re-signing with Washington this year.
The small price tag that comes with Hall and Amerson, plus the departure of Wilson could even allow the Redskins to pursue other defensive backs in free agency – not to mention the draft. The Redskins are currently projected to be $20 million under the salary cap, which means they'll have some money to spend.
Of everyone in the division, it seems like the Redskins are the best-positioned for immediate improvement.