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Sunday, April 26, 2009
Decision to pull tag on Hill seems risky

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks confirmed this morning that they have withdrawn the franchise tag from linebacker Leroy Hill after selecting Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.

Mike Lombardi of NFL Network mentioned the move Saturday night. I knew pulling the tag was an option, but I did not expect Seattle to make the move this quickly and I misunderstood a team official when asking about Hill late Saturday night. As a result, I was not aware until this morning that Seattle had indeed withdrawn the tag.

I'll wait to hear from Seahawks president Tim Ruskell before fully analyzing the move, but this strikes me as premature if Hill now signs elsewhere. He is a free agent.

"We continue to negotiate with Leroy on a long-term deal, absolutely," Ruskell said Saturday when asked how Curry's selection would affect Hill's standing.

Withdrawing the franchise tag does not prevent the Seahawks from continuing to pursue a long-term deal with Hill. The move does allow Hill to sign elsewhere without Seattle receiving compensation, however, and I would expect Hill to pursue options elsewhere. Seattle could go from having Hill and Julian Peterson, who was traded, to having only Curry.