The Giants are still making moves to bolster its defense, and signed Leon Hall on Thursday. The cornerback played with the Bengals from 2007-2015.
“We’re fortunate to add Leon to the roster,” head coach Ben McAdoo said. “He’s a pro’s pro, has played a lot of football, and has a nice skill set for us.”
Hall intercepted 26 passes in nine seasons with Cincinnati. His best season came in 2009, when Hall was named second team All-Pro and the Bengals won the AFC North. For the first time in his NFL career, Hall will not be playing for Marvin Lewis or even in the AFC.
“I’m a little nervous, naturally, but definitely anxious and excited,” Hall said. “I’ve been working out, but it’s different when you’re not with a team and training camp. Everybody started last week, so I’ve been watching on TV. Sitting around and watching is not fun, so I’m excited to actually put on some cleats on again.”
Hall played in every game from 2007-2010 but a pair of Achilles’ tendon injuries cut his season short in 2011 and 2013. Hall did play in 15 games last season as well as Cincinnati’s playoff loss to Pittsburgh. The cornerback was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for week 12 after he had six tackles and an interception return for a touchdown against the Rams.
“Leon is one of the versatile veteran corners that we had targeted during the free agency period,” said general manager Jerry Reese. “He was very impressive at the workout Wednesday, he brings tons of experience, and also brings veteran leadership to our defense.”
The versatility is a big plus. Of Hall’s four starts in 2015, two were at nickel back, one was at strong safety and one was at right corner.
“We see him playing a lot of inside football for us, serving as nickel,” McAdoo said. “But never say never when a guy has a chance to love around.”
Hall joins a returning Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, free agent signing Janoris Jenkins and draft pick Eli Apple to make for a better corner situation than the Giants had last year.