It's looking more and more like Leon Hall will not be re-signing with the Cincinnati Bengals.
That was essentially assured when the Bengals spent a first-round pick on Houston corner William Jackson. That leaves the Bengals with a cornerback unit so deep Hall would actually end up being the sixth-best corner on the roster if he were to re-sign.
That's probably something Hall isn't interested in, but the New York Giants may be a team who would offer him more playing time. Now, Hall is set to visit with the Giants, per FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo.
Veteran CB Leon Hall is visiting the Giants today. GM Jerry Reese talked about the need for depth there even after drafting Eli Apple.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 3, 2016
The former 18th-overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Michigan, Hall is already one of the best corners to ever don Bengal stripes. Over his first four seasons from 2007-10, Hall picked off 18 passes and deflect another 71 as he and Johnathan Joseph became the NFL's best cornerback tandem.
Unfortunately, since Hall signed a four-year, $39-million contract extension in 2011, he has suffered two torn Achilles tendons and intercepted just eight passes during the last five seasons.
Hall appeared to be regaining his Pro Bowl form in 2012 and into the 2013 season, but the second tear midway through that season ended his season prematurely for the second time in three seasons.
That second tear has also led to a sharp decline in Hall's play since then. He's had his moments in both of the past two seasons, but has often given up his fair share of big plays that a guy making $9+ million per season should not be surrendering.
Hall is now a player who doesn't need to be paid like a team's No. 1 corner going forward. He is coming off a year in which he was a quality slot man and helped the Bengals finish second in passing scores allowed (18) and fifth in opponent passer rating.
Hall also finished as Pro Football Focus' 33rd-ranked corner, but that's a bit deceiving since opponents tended to go after Dre Kirkpatrick on the boundary more. Most teams' top two pass-catchers don't line up in the slot where Hall primarily defended, and Hall had the benefit of covering the second or third option.
There's also the possibility of Hall moving to safety next season if he does opt to return to Cincinnati. He worked at safety in training camp last year and occasionally got snaps there, but not enough to know if this is a smart or realistic option. Hall is also coming off offseason back surgery that's undoubtedly hurt his free agent market.
As for the Giants, Hall would probably not get a starting job there with Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and top-10 selection Eli Apple occupying a lot of snaps. However, Hall could help mentor Apple and bring him along while splitting time as the third corner. At worst, he'd be the fourth-best corner in New York.