On the eve of the new league year, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan called veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall into his office to tell him he was being released.
The move was not for anything lacking in Hall's play over his five seasons in Washington, but rather that an $18 million cap penalty against the reported $123 million salary cap made it impossible to keep him around.
Shanahan expressed his interest in re-signing Hall later in free agency, but felt that Hall deserved a chance to find the money he deserved from another team.
"He's given everything I've asked him to give. He's gotten better each year," Shanahan said at the time. "He's done the little things the right way and when you have to tell somebody that they're not going to be on your football team, it's a little hard.
"Those are the types of things that really bother you, but you know we're dealt a certain hand."
With that hand, the Redskins were able to retain most impending free agents before bringing DeAngelo Hall back on April 4, 2013.
Yesterday, Hall sat down with NFL Network's Total Access to discuss his desire to play for a winner and return to his hometown team.
"I wanted to come back here. I wanted to finish something I started," he said. "I grew up in Virginia Beach area. I'm a local l kid, went to Virginia Tech. I want to be a part of this football team."
Before coming to Washington in 2008, Hall spent the first five years of his career in Atlanta and Oakland.
Last season was his first trip to the playoffs since his rookie season in Atlanta, as the Redskins have gone a combined 27-44 in his tenure.
"I've been a part of it when we weren't so good," he said. "So to finally be on the cusp of being great, I want to be a part of that.
"I was willing to take a pay cut and get back on this football team to help us win."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, but multiple media reports confirmed that Hall signed back with the team for significantly less money than his original contract.
He was very candid with the NFL Network hosts, saying that at this point in his career, a chance to win is more important than a big payday.
"For me, this time around, it wasn't about the money," he said. "We started something here in Washington with [head] coach [Mike] Shanahan and that was the biggest thing I wanted to stress.
"I felt like my contract along with [defensive tackle Albert] Haynesworth were the reasons we were in the [salary cap penalty] situation we were in. So for me, it wasn't about the money."
Hall Confident With Griffin III or Cousins:
Because nearly every Redskins' news story requires an update on the ACL recovery of quarterback Robert Griffin III, Hall had this to say about the quarterback situation:
"If [Robert Griffin III is] ready to go, we're all for it," Hall said. "We can't wait to have him out there.
"But if he's not, we feel great having Kirk [Cousins] out there, whoever else we put out there in different schemes and all that to win football games."