It's been a rough week, to say the least, for defensive lineman P.J. Hall. The Las Vegas Raiders initially notified the former second-round pick he'd be released on Monday, but ended up finding a trade partner just before they submitted his paperwork to the NFL front office for processing, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. In exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick, the Minnesota Vikings were to be Hall's new home, and all he had to do was pass the physical to make the deal official. Instead, he failed it, and was returned to the Raiders -- who immediately followed through on their original plan to release him, per the league's transaction wire.
What made it that difficult for Hall to make the Raiders' 2020 roster was the fact teams around the league are making moves to get their count down to 80 men as opposed to the traditional 90 -- due to the league's COVID-19 protocols -- leaving fringe players and those on the bubble without a great chance of making the team. Hall was one such player, after not flooring the team in his first two seasons and subsequently seeing them add talent at the position this offseason.
"We're not a lone ranger," head coach Jon Gruden said of the pre-camp cutdowns, via the Las Vegas Sun. "Everyone in the league is going through this. We have to do the best we can. It's not going to be an equitable, fair season. Some teams are going to be hit hard by this virus, some teams are not."
The former Sam Houston State standout entered the NFL Draft with high expectations for what was to come at the next level, but also prior to Mike Mayock taking the wheel as the Raiders' general manager. Mayock signed veteran lineman Maliek Collins this offseason to a one-year deal worth $6 million that guarantees him $5.75 million of that payout, and also reuniting him with Rod Marinelli -- the two having spent several seasons together when the latter was defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
Collins spent four seasons in Dallas and produced 14.5 sacks, 84 combined tackles and 40 hits on the opposing quarterback in 55 starts, landing the No. 1 in all but five his 61 available games. As Mayock and Gruden begin tweaking the defense to Marinelli's liking in Year 1, it's Collins getting the nod and Hall getting the goodbye.
He leaves the Raiders having logged 18 starts in 30 games played, garnering 1.5 sacks, 48 combined tackles and seven quarterback hits in the process. As for the Vikings, who recently saw Michael Pierce opt out of the 2020 season, they'll keep their seventh-round pick, but find themselves back in the market for another defensive tackle.