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DeAngelo Hall and Fred Smoot on Getting Paid

Fred Smoot, DeAngelo Hall, a bunch of Ravens, many people in suits, some cheerleaders and several dozen kids all gathered on the rainy West Lawn of the Capitol this morning to promote physical fitness. More on that later, but Hall did a post-fitness interview with the NFL Network from the shadow of the Capitol, in which he said his heart had never really been in it in Oakland. After he was done with the NFL Network, I asked him why that was.

"Because man, I just felt like in Oakland, there was a lot of people that hated anybody who got paid," he said. "A lot of guys resented me from the moment I walked in there. From the moment I walked in here, it was kind of a whole different vibe. It was like, come help us," he said, reaching out his arms in an embrace, which was filled by a Redskins staffer. "We love D-Hall," she said.

"I had a lot of college buddies up in this way, and it was just I felt loved and embraced," Hall continued. "With anything, if somebody loves you, you're gonna love them back. So I felt love. When I went to Oakland, man, I had a lot of guys on the team that was like, 'Man, I should have got paid, why'd they pay him, da da da da da.'

"And [Al Davis] paid a lot of guys. I mean, they were resentful toward not just me, towards everybody they paid: Tommy Kelly, myself, Gibril [Wilson], Javon [Walker]. Everybody was kind of looking at us different, so we all kind of hung together. That ain't the way it's supposed to be, but that's how it was out there. I never felt like a part of the team. And it showed on the field, that's why we got our [bleeps] whooped all the time."

So I brought up the Albert Haynesworth signing and wondered whether his (theoretically) nine-figure deal could cause the same sort of issues in Ashburn.

"Hell no," Hall said. "Not at all. Not at all. Like I made the comment, Albert Haynesworth is the best player in the NFL, hands-down. So you think anybody [complains] when Tom Brady or Peyton Manning got paid? Because they know what they can do. We know what he can do. It would have been different if they tried to go out and get Joe Blow and pay him a hundred million. C'mon, then we've got a problem. But a guy like Albert? Not a problem."

Smoot was chatting up the Capitol Police, but I interrupted to get his take on this issue. Would players resent Haynesworth and his salary?

"Nah," Smoot said. "Because, well, we have a group that, actually, a lot of us done got paid. Plus it's never really been like that in the Washington Redskins organization. We ain't really egotistical like that. We just all chill."

I asked Smoot whether he asks Hall to pick up the tab when they go out; "I'm eight figures myself, baby, I'm good," Smoot said. "Now Albert....

"It comes with it," he continued. "I'm sure he'll hear his group of money jokes. He asked me how much it was for him to buy a dock at National Harbor. I said, 'Don't worry, you don't need to ask, just go up there and park it, man. They'll take care of that.' "

Smoot was, at times, the odd-man out last year, when four corners were vying for playing time. Shawn Springs, of course, is now gone, but I asked Smoot where he saw himself fitting in.

"With Jerry [Gray], we're good, we're good," Smoot said. "I knew he couldn't play four of us. Now, he made a way to play three of us, and I know he'll STILL make a way to play three of us. But four, it just was too many of us. And it got out of his hands, actually. It was a big problem, it was a big rift to have, but we didn't let it affect nothing. We never brought nothing up, we just let it play itself out. Everything's good. We ain't got that type of guys."

I also asked Hall about his secondary mates.

"One of my biggest reasons for coming back was to be around these guys," he said. "I made the comment that I wanted to make sure that they WERE gonna be here, Fred AND Carlos. I said that to everybody that I talked to. I'm not just worried about trying to get paid, I'm trying to win some games."

Falcons owner Arthur Blank was also at the event, and he and Hall gave each other a huge hug. Hall said he used to go eat dinner at Blank's house and play video games with his son, and that their wives got along great. He called Blank "the best guy, best owner, best friend," and said his departure from Atlanta wasn't about Blank. So I also asked about his relationship with Daniel Snyder.

"I don't really know him that much," Hall said. "Obviously I just got here, I didn't spend a lot of time with him during the eight games I was here, but he tells me to come past the office so we can go to dinner or something."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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I guess Haynesworth knows who to go to with a question about boats.

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 19, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I love how Haynesworth goes to Smoot for his boating questions.

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

beat me to it

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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