Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Few Things to Consider with Hill

by: Michael Steffes

It amazes me how quickly things can turn for this fanbase. Elation has turned back to disgust. The draft and the Hill situation should be viewed separately, in my opinion. The team did a great job today, unfortunately one of Tim Ruskell's weak points happens to be working with free agent players who are constrained by a tag that restricts their movement. That appears to have resurfaced again.

Whether or not you want to believe the report, there are few things to consider with the Hill situation:

  • Hill was not under contract. He chose not to sign his tender. Maybe the Hawks would have liked to trade him, but he wouldn't sign. He could have been scared they would have made him play under that one-year contract. Maybe this report is to scare him into signing it so they can attempt to trade him tomorrow.
  • Drafting Curry and losing Hill is not a net loss. Curry is going to be here for six years at a minimum. The Hawks had to use the franchise tag on Hill, despite his arrest, and still haven't been able to work out a deal. If the team didn't think they could keep Hill, at least they got a more acclaimed player, even though he is less experienced, to replace him.
  • We are not losing our primary pass rusher for 2009. The media and fans speculated that Hill would become more involved in that aspect of the game, but the team never said they would be using Hill this way or that way. Gus Bradley comes from a Tampa 2 type scheme. That scheme is infamous for wanting the front four to pressure, with few blitzes. The Hawks have made moves to upgrade the line in hopes of improving this.
  • To piggyback on that, it is hard to project exactly what this defense was going to look like anyway. Chances are it looks a lot better with a player like Leroy Hill involved in it. However, he hasn't exactly been making the kind of moves that allow you the privilege of playing and getting big contracts from this organization right now.
This news is a tough pill to swallow, especially for fans, after such an exciting day. But we had no guarantees that Hill was going to play this year in Seattle, and even if he did on the one year tender, he was going to be overpaid. Everyone should have been aware of this possibility. One of the reasons Peterson got traded was the money being spent at LB, and taking Curry reintroduced that conundrum. Maybe the team felt Curry was easier to deal with than Hill.

Let's all remember, Hill has been part of a defense that for the most part has underachieved. If we agree the defense needed improvement, than we can only hope that change will help it. Even if this is a one-for-one trade off, it may have a greater impact overall on the team. We will have to wait and see to find out. END