When Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan joined the Redskins three seasons ago, he undertook an arduous evaluation process to assess every facet of the Redskins' roster.
On a team laden with veterans, he needed to get younger and collect playmaker, a process he conducted through the draft and key free agent acquisitions
All along, Shanahan promised his players that if they performed up to his standard, they would be a part of the future success.
This is why it upset him to release a veteran playmaker like cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
"When I first came here, I promised our players that we were going to do the little things the right way and that the people that worked hard were going to stay," Shanahan said. "Anyways, we've got to make those cuts and as I told [DeAngelo Hall]."
With the NFL-imposed salary cap penalties, the Redskins needed to release Hall in order to get under the salary cap before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline.
"Those are the types of things that really bother you, but you know we're dealt a certain hand," Shanahan said. "He was quite graceful. He understood exactly the position we were in.
"He probably knew it in detail more than I thought he would.
Shanahan told the media that while the team could have asked DeAngelo Hall to take a pay cut to stay with his childhood team, he wanted to give the veteran an opportunity to find a contract on the open market.
"There are always those possibilities, but what I don't want to do is take away from a guy that's got a chance to make more money than we're able to offer him," he explained. "He's played extremely hard and he's done everything I've asked him to do.
"I'm sure he's going to test out the market and after he does we'll see where he's at. I want to be able to take care of the people that have taken care of us and at least give them a fair chance to take a look at what the market value is."
NFL rumors and reports have linked Hall to at least one team in the 72 hours since free agency began, but as of close of business on Friday, Hall remains unsigned.
Asked on Monday about whether he was welcome to re-signing Hall to a more cap-friendly contract, Shanahan did not hesitate in responding:
"Yes," he said. "Yes I would."
If the team is unable to re-sign hall, Shanahan said there are other ways to replace the void left by Hall in the starting lineup.
"Possibly free agency," Shanahan said. "Or possibly guys that are out there that someone might not have the same level of skill that we think they have, so we will have them on our football team."
Rather than seeking a high-priced free agent, Shanahan hinted the Redskins might be planning to draft and develop a long-term replacement.
"We got extra draft choices, we've got an extra fifth rounder," he said. "We don't have the first rounder but we've got a chance to get some players there.
"We will wait until more of the end of the draft, even though there might be a player early, and we will add depth to our football team."