As reported earlier, Ruskell said the team made the move in large part because they drafted linebacker Aaron Curry, and along with the rest of the rookies they drafted and free agents they signed, the need the cap room for flexibility.
However, Ruskell did say the team is still negotiating with Hill, and that the 26-year-old linebacker indicated through a conversation with Mora that Hill still wants to remain a Seahawk.
Todd France, Hill’s agent, confirmed Ruskell’s comments in this report from Associated Press reporter Gregg Bell.
But if things do not work out, Mora said he’s has faith that Will Herring, David Hawthorne or D.D. Lewis could step in an ably fill the position.
If the Seahawks lose Hill in free agency, they’re likely to receive some type of draft compensation next year in return.
ESPN’s John Clayton explains that process here.
Ruskell went on to say the franchise tag actually hindered instead of helped negotiations, which he explains below
“That’s kind of the negative part of the franchise tag,” Ruskell said. “It doesn’t promote getting a deal done. It kind of dis-promotes it, because of the exorbitant price tag that’s on it.
“People really don’t know what to do. The tag has not always been a positive on, for us and for a lot of teams. It’s a strange tool. You go into it thinking that if you do this, then this will happen, and quite often that does not happen, for whatever the tag is. I think both sides would agree to that, that it didn’t promote getting a deal done in a timely fashion, so that Leroy could be here to learn this new offense, which is what we wanted. We were hoping that is what would happen. It did not. We’re trying this now.”
The Seahawks are bringing in Curry this morning, so I’ll have a report soon after the press conference.