AFC Notes: Patriots, Waynes, Conner

Prior to signing a six-year, $54MM deal with the Redskins prior to the 2009 campaign, three-time Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall had the opportunity to join the Patriots. The defensive back ultimately opted for the more lucrative deal, a decision he’s now regretting.

“When I signed to play half the season with Washington in 2008, there was a line in my contract that said the team could not franchise tag me that next season. I remember negotiations for a new deal with Washington weren’t going well, and there were other teams in the picture, including New England,” Hall said (via NFL.com). “At that time, players didn’t take short-term deals, but Randy Moss had just signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Patriots. I couldn’t believe it.

“In my own contract discussions with the Pats, I recall Bill Belichick telling me they couldn’t give me the contract Moss signed. Being a young and greedy knucklehead, I chose to stay in Washington on a long-term deal, which ultimately had me making the same per-year salary as Moss. Over a few million, I could’ve changed my legacy by being part of that dynasty. That was on the table for me, and I wish I would’ve made the decision to take less money and play for Belichick.”

Hall ended up sticking with the Redskins through the 2017 season. The Redskins ultimately won 56 games between the 2009 and 2017 seasons, earning a pair of playoff appearances. The Patriots won 112 games and made four Super Bowls during that same span.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Earlier this offseason, cornerback Trae Waynes signed a four-year, $42MM deal with the Bengals, including a $15MM signing bonus. However, as SI.com’s Albert Breer details, the former first-rounder still hasn’t received any of that money, and this is an ongoing theme throughout the NFL. One agent told Breer that executives are wary of finalizing any deals over fears of a cancelled season, and organizations are “within their rights to leave deals undone as a result of not wanting to do off-campus physicals.”
  • Breer adds that Waynes is “pretty sensitive to how his concern over a $15 million payment might come off, understanding the job situation in our country right now.” Meanwhile, the Bengals have explained their side of the story. “The Bengals are very excited about adding Trae to the roster and are confident that he will be a good player here, but unfortunately issues relating to coronavirus have made contract execution matters harder than anyone wishes,” said Bengals vice president Troy Blackburn. “Hopefully agreements can be reached soon between the NFL and the NFLPA that allow the season to get underway, at which point these issues go away.”
  • Ed Bouchette of The Athletic can’t envision running back James Conner inking an extension with the Steelers. The writer notes that the 25-year-old has only had one good season, and he’s battled injuries throughout his career. Following a breakout 2018 campaign, Conner finished the 2019 season with an underwhelming 715 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.
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