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News » Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-02-17


Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-02-17


Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-02-17
Seattle Seahawks team president and general manager Tim Ruskell recently stated that re-signing linebacker Leroy Hill will be a top priority for the franchise during the offseason. However, Hill's transgression may have tempered the team's stance on bringing back the talented 26-year old, and cost him some money in the process.


Hill was arrested in suburban Atlanta on Jan. 24 early Saturday morning and charged with marijuana possession after police there found the Seahawks linebacker passed out behind the wheel of his 1975 Buick Electra.

Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. Dwayne Taylor said officers found less than one ounce of marijuana in the vehicle. Hill was released after posting a $1,500 bond.

Two days later Hill released a statement apologizing for the incident. Ruskell also released a statement, stating, "It is disappointing when something like this happens. However, we will never stop trying to be better."

Hill is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of February. The Seahawks have to decide if Hill is worth designating with the franchise or transition tag, or if his value has decreased since the incident. The deadline for designating franchise players is Feb. 19

New head coach Jim Mora said the team will meet in person with Hill this week in an effort to determine whether or not the team will keep Hill in the fold.

"Was it a mistake? It was certainly a mistake," Mora said on a local radio station addressing the Hill issue. "So we have to decide the depth of the mistake and if we can overcome it."

In order to franchise Hill, Seattle would have to sign him to a little over $8 million for one season. The transition tag would carry a smaller price. However, it does not guarantee that Hill would not take a better offer with another team.

The Seahawks are a projected $20 million under the salary cap for 2009, so signing Hill to the franchise tag would eat up about half of the team's cap space. Seattle also has to consider how much it is paying the team's other linebackers, with Pro Bowlers Julian Peterson and Lofa Tatupu signed to lucrative, long-term deals.

A talented group of free agent linebackers hitting the market that includes Baltimore's Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs and Arizona's Karlos Dansby could also drop Hill's value.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 18, 2009

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Deion Branch Name: Deion Branch
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