For those of you not keeping track of the Seahawks free agent situation, the team has two linebackers with UFA status. It has been well-documented that the team is looking to resign at least one of them. It has also been well documented that free agent MLB David Hawthorne is coveted by the team to return in some capacity. However, many analysts believe that Hill would be the better bargain-buy and that may give him the edge in the decision the Hawks have to come to terms with.
On Monday February 27th, 2012 it was announced that Leroy Hill was arrested in Atlanta for marijuana possession. This could not have come at a worse time for Hill. This is Hill’s 3rd run-in with the law since being drafted out of Clemson in the 3rd round in 2005. He had a similar possession charge in January 2009, and also had a domestic violence charge in April 2010. Hill missed the entirety of the 2010 season due to legal and health issues.
Enter Pete Carroll’s tutelage, support, and his all-in mantra. Leroy Hill enjoyed a very solid 2011 season as the team’s starting outside linebacker. He finished the year with 89 tackles and 4 sacks. However, he has been publicly criticized for his ability to defend the pass against running backs in the flat and speedier tight ends. All of that aside, Leroy Hill was one of the better Seahawk stories in 2011. Many thought he would never play another down in a Seahawk uniform after 2010. Most thought he could never be a starter again anywhere. However, he persevered and outlasted Aaron Curry as a starter, and became the Seahawks most tenured player this season once Marcus Trufant went down.
There were many feel-good stories bubbling around last year about how Leroy Hill survived the bad times and changed his ways, and blah, blah, blah. I’m not saying that because he was arrested for marijuana possession that he is inherently a bad person or anything. But I am saying that he clearly lacks maturity and the ability to prioritize. Leroy Hill just had a stellar season from the #9 defense in the league. The opinion around the league was that he had righted the ship. He is entering into free agency in literally days. Even if the Seahawks had chosen David Hawthorne over Leroy Hill, he could have still signed a lucrative contract somewhere to compete for a starting job. Now he’ll likely suffer the wrath of Roger Goodell, and be left on the outside looking in when roster moves start to happen. The carelessness it takes someone to ruin their financial windfall that vehemently is appalling.
Look for Leroy Hill to be offered a veteran minimum contract by a team NOT located in Seattle this offseason.