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News » Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-05-04


Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-05-04


Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-05-04
The Seattle Seahawks took a calculated risk when they rescinded the franchise tag on linebacker Leroy Hill in order to speed up negotiations with the 26-year-old linebacker.


However, the move has paid off.

The Seahawks signed Hill to a six-year contract worth $38 million that includes $15.5 million in guaranteed money.

Before contract terms were reached, coach Jim Mora said, "We believe we made the right decision. Sure it was a risky decision. A very risky decision. ... If for some reason Leroy decides to go somewhere else then we're open to criticism. We probably deserve it. But my belief in talking to Leroy as much as I have is that he'll be wearing a Seattle Seahawk uniform next year. I feel very confident of that."

The Seahawks pulled the franchise tag, which included an $8.3 million, one-year tender offer, just hours after they drafted Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry with the No. 4 overall draft pick in this year's draft last week.

Mora said by drafting Curry the team softened the blow if they lost Hill. But for the team, Mora said the franchise tag had been constraining and had not helped in negotiations like they thought it would.

Furthermore, Mora said the team did not want to risk a long holdout because of the mostly new defensive scheme the team is installing.

"A majority of what we're doing on defense terminology-wise and assignment-wise will be different than what Leroy has done his first four years here," Mora said. "So he is missing valuable time when he's not here in order for him to be a productive football player for us on the field next fall.

"To ask a guy to come in, in a new scheme, a week before the first regular-season game -- which happens a lot of times with these franchise guys -- and be productive is a pipe dream. It just doesn't happen very often."

With Hill signed, the Seahawks will have one of the most talented linebacking units in the league with Hill, Lofa Tatupu and Curry, as the team switches to a 4-3, Tampa Two as its base defense.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 4, 2009

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