Thursday, April 30, 2009

John Clayton Talks Leroy Hill

by: Michael Steffes

John Clayton, speaking on KIRO 710, talked about the Leroy Hill situation. He said he has been in close contact with Hill's agent over the last week, and had some interesting nuggets to share.

He said that Hill and Co. expected that teams such as Tampa Bay and New Orleans would step up and show interest. In the end, they didn't.

The secondary thought was that teams who run a 3-4 might see him as a good fit, and that didn't turn out to be the case, either.

Clayton said what most of it comes down to is that teams (other than the Seahawks) don't really value linebackers as highly as they used to. Very few decision makers see linebacker as a position that can push a team over the top.

In the end, he said the Hawks could probably do better than the 6 yr/$36 million deal. However, the Hawks probably wouldn't risk insulting Hill by playing hardball for less money. The other option is to shorten the deal so that Hill could be a free agent again in a couple of years. The downside is that it would be harder for the Hawks to manage a short term deal under the cap, because they can't pro-rate the signing bonus over the full 6 years.

Either way, it seems like this is going to happen, and in time for the weekend to boot. I think that it is fair to say that this worked out unbelievably well for the team. Ruskell doubled down and got his face card. I for one was not very optimistic that this would work out so well. I wasn't even sure this was the plan. With Hill coming back, last weekend appears to be a banner time in Ruskell's Seahawks career. If the Hawks make it back to the playoffs on the strength of Hill and Curry on the defensive side of the ball and Hasselbeck staying healthy, that would certainly go a long way to proving Ruskell's worth to a somewhat fickle fan base.

We'll have to wait eight months to find that out, but for now, cheers to Tim Ruskell! It has been a hell of an offseason. END