Raiders saved Chiefs from Hall

When the Oakland Raiders traded for Randy Moss three seasons ago, Chiefs fans everywhere panicked. The thought of Moss running wild through KC's lackluster secondary and mooning the Arrowhead crowd after touchdowns was a frightening prospect.

The Chiefs themselves may have been a bit freaked out by The Freak's AFC West invasion, and traded for cornerback Patrick Surtain a month after the Raiders acquired Moss.

That eased everyone's fears for a few months, but then Moss abused Surtain in their first meeting that year, grabbing five passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Oh, the horror!

Surtain injured a knee prior to KC's second game against Oakland that season, meaning 33-year old corner Dewayne Washington drew a starting assignment. Scary? You bet.

But nothing ever came of it. Moss did beat Washington for a touchdown, but the seven-yard grab was his only catch of the day. As big of a mismatch as Moss vs Washington was, the pressure the Chiefs put on quarterback Kerry Collins that day negated any huge repercussions.

The lesson to be learned? High-priced NFL cornerbacks are overrated commodities, unless their name is Deion Sanders.


Terrell Owens toasts DeAngelo Hall for another touchdown.
Chris Graythen - Getty

The Chiefs vastly overpaid for Surtain and Ty Law, handing out over $20 million in signing bonuses and more in base salary over the last three years. In five combined seasons the pair produced only 13 interceptions.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who recently agreed to sign a contract worth $70 million with Oakland, isn't nearly as old as Surtain or Law, but he'll be even more overpaid. The Raiders may regret trading for him (as they did with Moss) before his career in the AFC West is over.

Chiefs fans who were intimidated by Moss in silver and black should be equally afraid of Hall, but for different reasons. Now that he's a Raider, there's nothing to be scared of, however.

The thought of Hall in red and gold is terrifying. The Chiefs had an interest in the former Falcons cornerback as early as last season, before the trade deadline. The Falcons wanted a first-round pick, however, a price too steep for Kansas City.

There's no way Hall was worth it. In Atlanta, he proved two things – he was as big of a problem child as the NFL has recently seen and his play at cornerback was more hype than substance.

We'll start with DeAngelo Hall, the man. Here's a short-list of his offenses as a me-first, team-second player:

1. In 2006, the Falcons hosted New Orleans in Week 12. Just before halftime, with the Saints ahead 14-6, quarterback Drew Brees launched a hail-mary attempt from midfield. Hall was in position to knock the pass down at the goal line, but instead, went for the interception. The ball went from Hall's hands to Terrence Copper's, who caught it for a 48-yard touchdown. Atlanta went on to lose the game (Hall was also beaten for a 76-yard touchdown early in the game).


DeAngelo Hall supports his local neighborhood felon.
Chris Graythen - Getty

2. The day Michael Vick received his prison sentence, the Falcons played on Monday Night Football. Apparently Hall thought it would be cute to support his dog-killing teammate on national television by holding up a Vick poster for ESPN's cameras.

3. In Week 3 of 2007, the Falcons hosted the Panthers. Hall turned in a stunning performance, holding Steve Smith to just one catch for 10 yards. Unfortunately, his poor attitude cost Atlanta the game, anyway, when he allowed Carolina to tie the score at 17 in the third quarter because of 67 yards in penalties on one drive.

First, Hall committed pass interference after Smith beat him deep. One play later, Hall shoved Smith, drawing a 15-yard personal foul penalty. On the ensuing play, Hall's trash talk resulted in another 15-yard penalty, negating a series-ending sack and extending a drive that culminated in a touchdown. Even worse, after the game, Hall did not apologize for a clear lack of judgment on his part. ("I felt like a lot of calls could have gone either way. They all went against me.")

If you think the above sounds bad, it gets worse. Despite his big plays (17 interceptions and 36 passes defensed in four seasons) and Sportscenter highlight reel, Hall's reputation as a shut-down cornerback is overblown.

According to Football Outsiders, Atlanta cornerbacks ranked 17th against number one receivers in 2005, 31st in 2006 and 10th in 2007. That doesn't speak well to Hall's supposed status as an elite cornerback. A quick review of Hall's history against elite receivers isn't impressive, either. Terrell Owens racked up 112 yards the first time he faced Hall in 2005, and toasted him twice for touchdowns in 2006.

That same season, Joey Galloway (161 yards), Marques Colston (97 yards), Hines Ward (171 yards, three touchdowns), Roy Williams (138 yards, one touchdown) and Santana Moss (123 yards, one touchdown) all victimized Atlanta's defense. Hall obviously wasn't locked on these receivers every time they caught a pass, but aren't elite cornerbacks supposed to make a difference?


Why is Hines Ward smiling? He's heading for six courtesy of Hall.
Doug Pensinger - Getty

What was Hines Ward, a receiver not known for his speed, doing running right past Hall for a 70-yard touchdown? Plaxico Burress (97 yards, one touchdown) and Anquan Boldin (162 yards, two touchdowns) found success against Atlanta's secondary last season.

Can you imagine the Chiefs spending an insane amount of dough on the player described above? What would Hall's reaction be to a team struggling through the growing pains associated with a rebuilding project? How could he possibly mesh with Herm Edwards' team-first mentality? Do you see many Cover 2 defenses around the league featuring overpriced cornerbacks?

According to one NFL insider, Hall wasn't too interested in coming to Kansas City anyway. Wouldn't it have been a shame if MeAngelo had taken the money Jared Allen rightfully has earned by proving himself on the field (15.5 sacks) and off it (sober for months)?

Perhaps Chiefs fans – and those running the show at One Arrowhead Drive – should thank the Raiders and Al Davis for removing the temptation to trade for Hall. It appears he'll fit perfectly in Oakland, anyway, where the new slogan is "Just get paid, baby."

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