Leroy Falling DownHill?

Leroy Hill’s recent return to the Seattle Seahawks’ workouts has some questioning what the future is for the outside linebacker.

Hill, a once vital part of the Seattle defense, has seen himself come into issues with the law in the past year.

The first charge Hill dealt with was a marijuana charge in which he pleaded guilty, receiving 12 months of probation in Georgia, along with 30 hours of community service, and attendance of a drug and alcohol abuse counseling program.

But that wasn’t all the legal trouble Hill would run into. Months later, Leroy Hill was arrested by the Issaquah police department on a domestic violence charge. The Issaquah police, who arrived on the scene, said that it was obvious that Hill’s girlfriend had marks on her body that indicated abuse. Bail was posted by Hill, but the investigation still continues.

Last year, Leroy Hill was given the team’s Franchise Tag, and later signed a 6 year, $38 million dollar deal; $15 million of which is guaranteed.

For the past two months, Hill has been told to stay away from team workouts, as they felt he would pose a distraction to the team. In recent days, however, Hill has been told he can now return to team workouts, but Leroy Hill is still a large target for criticism.

For the past year, Leroy Hill has been nothing but trouble. Hill has plead guilty to a marijuana possession charge, and has been involved in a domestic violence investigation. Not only is he a distraction, but he should be suspended for these charges.

Some, however, might be willing to overlook all of these legal issues since Hill was a vital part of the Seahawks defense; but was he?

In the last 36 games that the Seahawks have played, Hill has missed 9 of them. So, Hill misses one in every four games. Doesn’t matter if he is on or off the field, Hill doesn’t seem too reliable, huh?

Now let’s look at the stats.

Hill’s best season came as a rookie in 2005 with 72 tackles and 7.5 sacks. From there, his sacks per season significantly dropped, with his next highest sack total being 3 in 2007. Not only that, but in 5 years as a Seahawk, Hill’s “hard hits” have forced only 6 fumbles to go along with a goose egg in the interception column. And finally, Hill’s highest tackle total for a season was 92, coming in 2006, and it never surpassed 84 after that.

Lets look at Hill’s possible replacement, David Hawthorne. In his first season with significant playing time, the 25 year old Hawthorne had 94 tackles; 2 more than Hill’s best season. He also had 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. Add in that he is 2 years younger and paid almost $5.5 million less, and the decision looks easy.

The Seahawks are trying to get younger and certainly don’t need distractions at this point, so that leaves me and plenty of other Seahawks fans thinking the same thing…

Leroy Hill has no place on the Seattle Seahawks.