Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill's absence during the team's off-season practices continued on Monday, reports Greg Johns of seattlepi.com.
"I don't have anything to update you on, other than we're waiting for the word from the league office where they stand about all this," head coach Pete Carroll said. "We'll just have to wait it out. They were not able to tell us when that is going to come, so we'll just to wait and see what happens."
When asked if he expected Hill to be with the Seahawks in 2010, Carroll couldn't give a firm answer.
"I'm hoping," Carroll said. "He's part of our team. I'm hoping he will be. We'll need to see what that all means, but we'll figure it out when the time comes."
On April 1, Hill plead guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession in Georgia. Less than two weeks later, Hill was arrested on domestic violence charges in Issaquah, Washington. The Seahawks told Hill to stay away from the team's post-draft mini-camp that ran from April 30-May 2.
Hill will almost certainly be suspended for a game or two due to the marijuana charge, and depending on how the legal process works out in regards to the domestic violence case, could receive an additional suspension.
Hill has a court date in Issaquah later this month, which could bring some clarity to his situation.
Signed to a six-year, $36 million dollar contract that included $13 million dollars in guaranteed money last May, Hill's entire $6 million dollar base salary for 2010 is guaranteed. If the Seahawks were to release Hill prior to the NFL taking disciplinary action, the Seahawks would presumably be on the hook for the entire $6 million dollar salary, meaning they will have paid Hill $13 million dollars for 46 tackles, including 1 quarterback sack, in 11 games, which makes the $8.304 million dollar franchise tag from last season seem like a bargain.
If the Seahawks wait until after Hill is disciplined by the NFL to severe ties with the former third-round pick out of Clemson, they could attempt to mitigate what they owe him in guaranteed base salary by attempting to recoup the prorated portion of his $2 million dollar signing bonus.
Without wanting to expose the oft-injured Hill to injury during the OTAs, it makes sense for the Seahawks to keep Hill at arm's length this off-season.
Exclusive rights free agent David Hawthorne has been playing outside linebacker in Hill's place. Hawthorne (6-0, 240) led the Seahawks in tackles last season, starting 11 games at middle linebacker when Lofa Tatupu was sidelined by a hamstring and torn pectoral muscle.
Notes: The Seahawks announced the release of veteran tight end Jason Pociask on Monday. The 6-3, 257-pound tight end joined the Seahawks' practice squad late last season, and had signed a two-year "Reserve/Futures" contract in January. An injury had prevented Pociask from participating in the team's off-season workout program.
Pociask's release creates a spot on the Seahawks' 80-man off-season roster, which could be filled by a draft pick signing, or by Hawthorne signing his one-year exclusive rights free agent tender.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
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