Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hawks Remove Tag from Leroy Hill

by: Michael Steffes

According the NFL Network and Mike Lombardi, the Seahawks have removed the franchise tag from linebacker Leroy Hill.

He is now a free agent and free to shop his services to anyone he wants. This frees up $8 million in salary cap space for the Hawks.

They are obviously disappointed that Hill was arrested and then chose not to show up for Jim Mora's first camp. Jim Mora publicly said otherwise, but how could that move have been well received? There are other linebackers available that can be signed. Plus the team now has Aaron Curry, who will be making some serious cake. This is a spat that has been brewing for a while. Negotiations stalled last offseason when Leroy hired Todd France, an agent who has always gotten huge dollars for his guys (see Nate Clements). They didn't appear to be sincere about wanting to stay in Seattle long term, and thus this is the corresponding move.

Hill will not be happy about this development; he would have commanded much more in March. Right now, his leverage is minimal.

One thing is certain, the Hawks underachieving linebacking core will look mighty different this year. Oh boy!

Expect the Hawks to use this new-found cap space to look at veteran players like Ken Lucas to help out in the secondary. They may also look at a guy like Derrick Brooks. 

Update -- Here's the video:

UPDATE 2 -- Rotoworld just published this:

LeRoy Hill-LB-Seahawks Apr. 26 - 12:37 am et

NFL Network's Mike Lombardi reports that the Seahawks have taken the franchise tag off LB LeRoy Hill, making him a free agent.
A stunner. We didn't quite see how rookie Aaron Curry and Hill fit together, but we figured Seattle would find room for their solid veteran player. Hill immediatley becomes the best free agent on the market, but we don't think he'll find a deal as big as the $36 million offer he rejected from Seattle earlier this year.
Related: Aaron Curry