Posted by: Shaun Dolence
Everyone seems to have developed their own opinions about the Leroy Hill situation, so I suppose I should catch up and lay down my thoughts on it. You know the story: Leroy Hill is found asleep at the wheel in the middle of an intersection in Atlanta, and upon search, marijuana is found in his 1975 Buick Electra.
My response: BIG DEAL. Yeah, probably a little arrogant and insensitive, but I just don’t see why everyone is so quick to flush Hill out of the Seahawks organization.
Leroy Hill is not Jerramy Stevens. He is not Koren Robinson. Hell, he isn’t even Lofa Tatupu. In other words, Hill is not a repeat offender and did not commit a serious crime, at least according to the charges filed (misdemeanor). Previous to this occurrence, Leroy Hill has not tarnished his record with any off the field incidents, and would have to be viewed as a responsible, law-abiding citizen.
Everyone uses bad judgment from time to time. No one is perfect. Am I going to stand here and say Leroy Hill has never smoked weed before? Absolutely not – but I will say that up to this point, he has not been stupid enough to get arrested for it.
Is my opinion biased and skewed a little because Leroy Hill is an outstanding defensive player on the verge of being run out of town? Yeah, that is probably the case. But it is a little hypocritical to say that Hill doesn’t belong in Tim Ruskell’s untainted organization – a team that pays “criminals” like Lofa Tatupu, Jordan Babineaux, Sean Locklear, and Rocky Bernard (for now) to play football.
I’m not trying to defend Leroy Hill’s choices or make him look like a perfect person. But I am a believer in second chances, and this guy has done nothing in the past to not be deserving of a mulligan. If this kind of behavior becomes habitual, then go ahead, cut him. But for now, let’s treat this situation as a forgivable screw up.
If Ruskell decides to cut ties with our best linebacker, we will be spinning wheels heading into next season. Moving on without Leroy Hill will remove a proven player and decrease the talent level of this team. Replacing Hill with someone like Aaron Curry from Wake Forest will be a wash at best, and a complete waste of the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft. You’re also replacing a solid player with an unknown commodity.
And for those of you who believe in saving cash, replacing Hill with the fourth overall pick isn’t the way to go – the costs are nearly identical and you’re probably not going to find a better player to play linebacker for the Hawks.
Let me know what you think … I’d love to get some dialogue going on the Leroy Hill situation. Seems like a good way to start deciding what direction the Seahawks should take in free agency and the draft, and to kick off the offseason.