There's two options for the Bengals to consider in resigning Leon Hall.
1) Extend his career in Cincinnati beyond 2015;
2) Reduce the cap hit that Hall imposes on the team's salary cap this season.
According to Spotrac, Hall has a cap number of $9.6 million in 2015, which presently ranks as the second-most behind A.J. Green's fifth-year option, which is worth $10.176 million -- Andy Dalton's cap number is $9.6 million.
Per Bengals.com, there are no talks about an extension.
Hall is heading into the last year of his deal and he says at some point he’ll have to think business, but not now. Scheduled to make $7.7 million this season for a salary cap hit of $9.6 million, second most on the team behind
A.J. Green’s $10.1 million, Hall feels like he has the confidence of the coaches and management. They haven’t talked about an extension, but they also haven’t talked to him about a pay cut, either, even though he struggled last season.
"Just having a feel for the coaches regardless if I did well or didn’t do well, they always had faith in me, so that’s always comforting," Hall said. "Part of the deal on my side is essentially, prove them right, which is why I’m here. I think they (management) have faith in me. If they didn’t, this interview might be going differently."
There's no doubt that Hall isn't really comparable to Darrelle Revis in his New York Jets prime, or today's contemporaries in Richard Sherman and even Patrick Peterson. Qualified enough to handle receivers in single-coverage, Hall wasn't a playmaker but he's always qualified. From '07 through '10, Hall led the team in interceptions each season (shared with Joseph in '09), posting a combined 18 picks. Quick? No. Fast. Not really. But no one beat him with technique, which has served him for eight seasons, going on nine this year in Cincinnati.
Over time, his numbers have dropped. During the last two seasons, Hall has played 20 games (missed most of '13 with an injury) and generated two interceptions, nine pass defenses on 115 targeted throws. In 2014, opposing quarterbacks completed nearly 70 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 104.9. Save for his rookie season in 2007 (108.8), the worst rating he had achieved was 84.8 (2011). Pro Football Focus graded Hall's '14 season as the worst on the books with a pass coverage score of +0.4.
Hall is entering his final year under contract, slated to earn $7.7 million -- more than everyone else on the team, save for Green ($10.176 million) who benefits from the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. Again, Hall is turning 31 and his production appears to be waning while the team may approach next season with greater focus on a youth movement in Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard -- two rookie cornerbacks drafted in the 2012 and 2014 NFL drafts respectively. Is the production drop a result of age or two Achilles tears?