Hill apologizes to Seahawks, fans for arrest on pot charges

Tampa, Fla. – Let the healing begin.

Two days after his transgression in Atlanta put him in the news for the wrong reasons, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill apologized through a prepared statement released by the team.

“I want to apologize to my family, my teammates, the Seahawks organization and fans,” Hill said. “I am embarrassed by the incident Saturday morning and the poor judgment I showed. Please understand my actions were not consistent with the type of person I hope to become.”

Seattle team president Tim Ruskell addressed the Hill situation Monday, also through a prepared statement.

“Any time anybody in our family gets in trouble or gets arrested, it feels like a punch in the gut,” Ruskell said. “We are a team always striving for good, consistent character, so it is disappointing when something like this happens. However, we will never stop trying to be better.”

Hill was arrested early Saturday and charged with marijuana possession in an Atlanta suburb after police found the Seahawks linebacker passed out behind the wheel of a 1975 Buick Electra, according to authorities from the Douglas County sheriff’s office.

Police found Hill at about 4 a.m. at the major intersection.

Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. Dwayne Taylor said officers found less than one ounce of marijuana in the vehicle. A court date has not yet been set, and Hill was released after posting a $1,500 bond.

Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the Feb. 27 deadline, Hill may have affected his market value with his actions over the weekend. Ruskell had recently said during an end-of-the-season interview that retaining Hill’s services was a top priority for Seattle during the offseason.

However, Ruskell also acknowledges keeping players around with good character is key to Seattle’s success, so Hill’s future in Seattle remains uncertain.

Ruskell has kept players such as Sean Locklear, Rocky Bernard and Lofa Tatupu, who all had off-the-field incidents but have stayed out of police reports since.

If Seattle decides to designated Hill as its franchise player to keep him at least one more season, the Seahawks would have to pay him a little over $8 million.