Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Leroy Hill OKs less pay in 2010
By Mike Sando
A tumultuous offseason for Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill has proved costly in more ways than one.
The former franchise player, already facing a one-game NFL suspension to open the regular season, recently agreed to a salary reduction from $6 million to $2.125 million as part of a deal wiping out the remaining years of his previous contract, according to the NFL Players Association website.
"That was a situation where both sides we had obviously been talking to Leroy through the entire thing," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said on Tuesday. "He had a situation that came up and both sides felt like we could come up with a solution and [Seahawks VP of football administration] John Idzik and Leroy's representatives did a nice job figuring out a solution for the situation that Leroy was involved with."
Hill's salary had been guaranteed, but off-field troubles can raise questions about a team's obligations, as when a judge ordered former receiver Charles Rogers to repay $6.1 million in bonus money to the Detroit Lions.
Hill will miss the opener against San Francisco as part of a suspension handed down by the league for his arrest on a marijuana-possession charge in Georgia. He began 12 months of probation for that in April.
Then Hill was arrested on a domestic violence charge in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah in April. The 27-year-old Hill entered into a stipulated order of continuance at a hearing on his misdemeanor charge of fourth degree assault/domestic violence on Aug. 19. That avoids a trial that could have started this month.
Issauqah prosecutor Lynn Moberly said the five-year starter for the Seahawks will be on what is essentially probation for 18 months and must complete a one-year state-certified domestic violence treatment program -- 26 weeks of weekly therapy and counseling, then monthly sessions for six months -- plus 25 hours of community service. He is also to have no other criminal law violations and possess no weapons during the period.
The only contact he is allowed with his alleged victim is on the telephone, pending his progress in the domestic violence treatment program and a judge's subsequent review of that limited-contact order.
The Seahawks sent a strong message to Hill this offseason by asking him to stay away from team headquarters while a domestic-violence case worked its way through the courts.
Hill's new deal lets him earn back $300,000 in incentives. He also gets a $60,000 roster bonus.
In May 2009, Hill had signed a six-year, $36 million contract featuring a $2 million bonus and base salaries of $5 million and $6 million in the first two years.
The Seattle coaching staff has frequently praised Hill's replacement, David Hawthorne, raising questions about where Hill might fit in the team's longer-range plans. The new deal gives the Seahawks greater flexibility as they determine where Hill fits. Hill gets a chance to prove himself and hit free agency again in March 2011.
Hill has missed time during training camp with a sprained knee. Coach Pete Carroll was asked if the restructured deal ensures Hill will be on Seattle's roster when the second week of the season arrives.
"We really like how Leroy plays. We're looking forward to Leroy playing for us," Carroll said.
Mike Sando covers the NFC West for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.