Despite being one of the better veteran cornerbacks on the open market, there has been very little buzz surrounding Leon Hall in free agency this year. So far, he's visited with the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. However, nothing has come close to materializing as far as a deal goes. That could mean that a return to the Bengals is more likely, but it could also mean that other teams might start looking at a veteran cornerback whose market value has been plummeting.
One of those potentially interested teams is the Miami Dolphins; the Miami Herald reports the Dolphins have been "showing patience" so far with Hall. Why wouldn't the Dolphins be interested in him? They lost their four time Pro Bowl cornerback, Brent Grimes, to a contract dispute involving his refusal to restructure. Grimes is 32, so paying him anywhere near what he ended up getting with the Buccaneers (two years, $16.5 million) seems ill advised.
That might also be exactly why the Dolphins haven't made any moves with Hall yet. Don't forget that he made $39 million on his most recent deal with the Bengals. If he's been looking to make that kind of money again despite being 31-years-old and with his injury history, he can forget about it.
However, if he's willing to lower his price now that it's clear teams don't want to pay him what he's expecting, a team like the Dolphins might love to pounce on his potential. The Dolphins' current cornerback corps currently boasts Byron Maxwell as their top player. As a result, they're likely to look early in the draft for some help at the position, but bringing in a high-end veteran like Hall who has history with new Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph would seem like a very good idea.
Hall has not yet had a known visit with the Dolphins or even been in contact with them, as far as we know. However, the Miami Herald does believe that "when" he lowers his asking price, the Dolphins are likely to show much more interest. If that's true, it's only a matter of time at this point, assuming he is more focused on continuing to play in the NFL than landing a big contract.
It would be difficult to imagine that Hall really has the kind of leverage with NFL teams to ask for a similar number to what he made with the Bengals on his last contract. From 2007-2010, he was known as one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL, sporting nothing but upside. However, he signed a five year contract worth $39 million in 2011 and almost immediately began to be plagued by injuries with lengthy recovery times.
In 2015, Hall was generally relegated to a backup role in and slot duty, where he played fairly well (four interceptions, 44 tackles), but that's not enough to justify paying him a contract near the $9,600,000 cap hit he had in 2015.
It's hard to say just how likely it is that Hall would end up signing for the Dolphins. As discussed, he would probably need to significantly lower his asking price to have a chance of signing with them. That might actually bode well for them as the lack of interest from teams across the NFL probably signals that no one wants to pay him the kind of money he's asking for.
There's the possibility that Hall could retire if a team is not willing to pay him what he believes he is worth. If not, at 31 years old, there is a good chance that the next contract he signs could be his last. Over his career with the Bengals, he's made a total of $52.6 million. Providing he played his financial cards right, he can probably risk not playing again if he feels the money he's offered isn't worth the wear and tear on his body.