- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 24, 2005

After seriously considering retirement and a coaching offer from the staff at Washington State, safety Cory Hall officially extended his six-year NFL playing career yesterday by signing with the Washington Redskins.

Hall, 28, was prepared to move to Pullman, Wash., and join the Cougars’ staff, which includes several of his coaches from Fresno State in the 1990s. But prodding from agent Peter Schaffer and other associates convinced Hall he wasn’t quite ready to give up a solid career that includes 70 starts.

“I started thinking about it after the draft,” Hall said, referencing a period in April when he agreed to return to the Atlanta Falcons and then abruptly quit. “I was like, ‘Do I want to play, or do I want to coach?’ … [More and] more I got around people, and they were saying, ‘You’re not done. You’ve got three, four, five more years.’ ”

In Washington, Hall will compete for playing time in Gregg Williams’ creative scheme, which relies heavily on safeties. While Sean Taylor and Matt Bowen most likely will start, Hall will battle Pierson Prioleau, Andre Lott and Ryan Clark for duties as the first safety off the bench.

“[Williams] said, ‘Come over and compete and we’ll let the cards fall where they fall,’ ” Hall said.

Hall also could play special teams for the first time since 2002, when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. Hall, a third-round pick by the Bengals in 1999, enjoys playing special teams, but he said the Falcons relied mostly on specialists the past two seasons.

Retirement thoughts limited how much Hall worked out in recent months, but he started training seriously two weeks ago following a workout in Dallas. He expects to return to “football shape” in coming weeks as the Redskins continue their offseason workout program.

To make room for Hall, the Redskins released defensive back Roosevelt Williams.

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