Seahawks Insider

Seahawks put franchise tag on Leroy Hill

Post by News Tribune Staff on Feb. 19, 2009 at 10:26 am with 62 Comments »
February 19, 2009 10:26 am

From Eric Williams in Indianapolis:

The Seahawks today designated linebacker Leroy Hill with the organization’s non-exclusive franchise tag. Hill will receive the $8.3-million, one-year tender offer from the Seahawks while negotiations continue on a longer-term deal.

The deadline for using the franchise tag was today.

The Seahawks are negotiating with Hill on a longer-term deal, and by designating him with the non-exclusive franchise tag, it gives the team a longer period for negotiations.

“We’re not exactly close but it’s been good-faith negotiations,” team president and general manager Tim Ruskell said. “And this allows us to keep doing that, while protecting our rights to the player.”

Eric will follow with more details later today.

Leave a comment Comments → 62
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Ahhhh. That’s more like it.

  2. williambryan says:

    Character is officially out the window

  3. If Asomslkfjlksfj makes it to FA, he’d be the way to go. Until that happens, this was a good move. We can always drop the tag (if Hill hasn’t signed it yet). Should make for an interesting few days/weeks.

  4. Rockyseahawk says:

    Hopefully they can get him signed to a longer term contract.

  5. Rockyseahawk says:

    Hey I like that gnarly Swedish spelling of Asomugha’s name. And I agree he would be the way to go. What a pair of corner backs that would be.

  6. I want Asomugha there is no way our 3lbs are worth over 20 mil a year. sure havnt shown it.

  7. No, our LBs aren’t worth that money. They should be more productive, but they aren’t.

    However, part of their problem, IMO, is/was John Marshall. I’m willing to give Mora a shot and see what he can do. I have a feeling we’ll be better. A lot better.

    With all of the FA talent being tagged themselves (Gross, Asomdfkljsdfslfdfsklj, Suggs, etc.) there really isn’t a lot out there who would be better for us than Hill.

    Although I was originally againt Hill receiving the franchise tag, the market has indicated that this move is correct.

  8. I love the way he plays but i think this is a bad move. Hill is still an injury prone player unfortunately. We already have too much money invested into LB position and not enough on our line. Maybe we can get some great compensation for unloading him to a LB starved team.

    If we lose weaver this offseason that will be a travesty. He was an essential cog in our offense last season and underutilized. His blocking ability is underrated. (I.e. “Owen schmitt is gods gift to the FB position, lets ride his undercarriage while he still has proven nothing”)

    Lets get hill signed, trade for draft picks, and franchise weaver (how much would that be for a FB?). Never the less just wishful thinking

  9. HawksKD, we can’t franchise weaver, we only get one franchise tag, right? Still, weaver doesn’t deserve franchise money nor do we have it to spend on him.

  10. No chance for Nnamdi Asomugha The effen Raiders gave him a $45.3 million, three-year contract that makes him the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history.

  11. ProblemSolved says:

    Losing a FB is a travesty? Get a grip. An essential cog of an offense that went 4-12? Definately irreplaceable. And there isn’t a difference between a FB and a RB, so sticking the tag on him would force the Hawks to pay him like a top 5 RB. And again, he’s a FB.

  12. You cant franchise a FB, but you could franchise him as RB and i think thats over $5mil. No thanks. I have loved Weaver since his first massive stiff arm in preseason a few years ago, but as football goes, it looks like he could end up being in San Fran. I think Schmitt will be a very solid and I think he has a screw loose.
    On another note if we dont finalize a long term more fairly priced deal with Hill, it looks like Willis is gone as well, seeing as how we need to save some cap space for our draftees.

  13. maddog12 says:

    Sando reporting on his NFC West ESPN blog that Ruskell says “We are looking for an impact player with our 1st pick” Sando thinks that minimizes chances that the Hawks go O line at 4.

  14. I highly doubt we go OT with first pick, Knapp doesn’t need stud linemen if his scheme works right. I think our first pick is either going to be high risk in Michael Crabtree, or go with Jenkins, problem with Jenkins is in the Tampa2 you dont need a lockdown man corner, but he has good size and his only knock is closing speed so possibly he could fit our new D very well. We would need to trade Jennings though, we don’t need him. There are some CB hungry teams that would probably take him for a late round.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    Is there a team that isn’t looking for a impact player with their #1?

  16. If that’s the case, Ruskell needs to go with Moreno or Brown. Moreno can get 1,500 yards or a guy like Brown who should be able to get 8-10 sacks in his R year.

  17. Im all for Moreno, let the other teams blitz the shit out of us, we could dump it down to Moreno or set up TE screens with Carlson. Moreno is going to be a stud, he can run he can catch and he can move. But again I really don’t see this happening, Knapp also doesn’t need a stud RB in the zone blocking. Not saying I dont want him though. I hope we run some new stuff/”wildcat” using Seneca. Honestly I think he is our best one cut runner and that is what you want in a Zone blocking scheme.

  18. CeaYoung says:

    Raiders agreed to terms with CB Nnamdi Asomugha on three-year, $45.3 million contract. The first two years are worth $28.5 million and are guaranteed.

    Panthers signed LT Jordan Gross to a six-year contract. The deal is worth nearly $60 million and includes $30.5 million in the first three years.


  19. CowboysP says:

    Franchise Hill? OK. Maybe, that’s the way the salary numbers are going in the NFL. But I just don’t see it.

    Hill is now the biggest cap number for Seahawks LB’s in 2009.

    If I am off base, please let me know.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    No, off base: Kerney 10.1, Hass 9.5, J.Peterson 8.8

  21. CeaYoung says:

    More from around the league:

    Coach Jim Zorn revealed Thursday at the Combine that the Redskins are unlikely to re-sign DeAngelo Hall before the Feb. 27 free agency period.

    The Skins don’t seem interested in franchising Hall, so he’ll hit the market. LG Pete Kendall will likely also make it to free agency unsigned.

    “Word in Indianapolis” is that the Falcons may be the leading contenders for free agent NT Albert Haynesworth, according to the Charlotte Observer.

    Virginia LT Eugene Monroe measured 6’5 1/4 and 309 pounds at the NFL Combine weigh-in Thursday.

    Baylor LT Jason Smith measured 6’5/309 at Thursday’s Combine weigh-in.

    The Panthers placed the franchise tag on Julius Peppers.

  22. CeaYoung says:


    Actually Jenkins is not a man to man cover guy. He is great in Zone Coverage.

  23. mdheller says:

    Well, here’s hoping they can come to a long-term contract with Hill. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad move. I think there are arguments to be made on both sides. But they need to sign him to a more cap-friendly deal to allow them to fill some of the other holes elsewhere.

  24. Dukeshire says:

    “If that’s the case, Ruskell needs to go with Moreno or Brown. Moreno can get 1,500 yards or a guy like Brown who should be able to get 8-10 sacks in his R year.”

    What evidence is there to support those claims? Does that mean a guy like E. Monroe or A. Smith, if they were to come in a start, would’nt have an “impact”? Stats only tell part of the story.

  25. Sure disagree with this move as Hill isn’t worth 8.36 mil /yr. if they can’t get a deal done. I’d guess they aren’t very close at all thus requiring this to happen.

  26. freedom_X says:

    Since Seattle didn’t have anyone else they wanted to franchise, it makes sense to be now to franchise Hill. Seattle doesn’t lose anything. If they need the salary cap room to sign someone else, they’ll just drop the tag. Their only risk is if Hill signs the 1 yr tender soon, then Seattle is handcuffed.

    That doesn’t happen often, but I suppose there’s a risk that if Hill finds the LB market soft, he’ll take the tender right away instead of waiting until training camp (or just before the 1st week of the season.)

  27. nighthawk2 says:

    That’s just the opposite of how Jenkins has been described.

    How is tying up half our cap in a linebacker a brilliant move by Timmay!? He’s already way overpaid for Tatupu and Peterson. They’re “not exactly close” in negotiations (here’s an idea, sign someone to an extension that doesn’t break the bank BEFORE they get to free agency).

    How is an excellent offensive lineman not an “impact” player? Anyone want to say that Joe Thomas, or Tony Ugoh, weren’t “impact” players? If someone wants to line up stiffs like Sims, Spencer, Willis or Locklear across the line, then I guess getting an oustanding talent at OT isn’t an “impact”.

    As for biggest cap hit, I think Hasselbeck is over $10 million as well.

    Losing Weaver would indeed be a tragedy. This guy should be our starting halfback, he may be big enough for fullback but it’s not his natural position. Franchising him (don’t know if the tag can be re-used if it is lifted from Hill if an exorbitant deal gets done) isn’t a good idea because of the money involved there. Again, Numbskull should have negotiated a new contract BEFORE he got to the end of this one, but that seems to be a concept Timmay! just can’t seem to grasp.

  28. NickLicatasucks says:

    Dukeshire- classic comment, “Is there a team that isn’t looking for a impact player with their #1? ”

    The fact that someone took that quote from Ruskell and ran with it is classic. Timmay’s cards are most certainly close to the vest. An impact player can come at any position. Just because linemen are not “skill players” doesn’t mean they aren’t impact players. Its safe to say that Mr. Walter Jones has made a rather large impact since he joined the team.

    I do think its fair to say that with Knapp’s system, top five talent is not required to run it effectively. However, I’m sure Knapp would prefer an offensive talent joining his group for the next season.

    I will doubt the Hawks take Jenkins at #4. They have invested many top picks in cornerbacks of late.

    I like the size of Monroe and Smith…both resembe a young Walter Jones in stature. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to bring in a young lineman and have him learn a thing or two about pushing Escalades from Big Walt.

  29. Glad he’s staying. Can we also transition tag Weaver?

  30. I’m not sure that you can tell what the Seahawks are thinking by Ruskell’s
    statement that the team wants to draft an impact player. How do you define
    impact player? Does that suggest a playmaker or a potential probowler on the OL.
    Besides, it would be kind of stupid to show his cards one way or the other at this
    point, so anything he might say to the media would probably just be a smokescreen anyway.

    As far as franchising Hill. I agree it’s a good, albeit potentially expensive, move.
    But, I would really hate to see us use our top pick to replace a strong player that we already

    Losing Weaver would be a shame…there’s another step back when we already have so
    many other holes to fill.

    Willis…the same thing. That’s the frustrating thing about the NFL, and especially when you
    have an owner with deep pockets but a salary cap negotiate.

    Let’s just hope the coaching changes will be enough to turn things around and prove that
    last year was an anomoly and that we’re not as bad as our ’08 record suggests. I would like to think
    that we’re going to emerge from the offseason with a much better team, but the reality
    that this draft is probably going to keep us treading water with a team that drowned last year.
    Sorry for the buzz kill. Late night last night being mauled by a cute chick.

  31. williambryan says:

    I’m surprised, considering the talk from recent weeks, that there isn’t a hint of concern regarding signing, franchising no less, a player who was passed out in a busy intersection.

    if weaver gets away, we will be regretting that for sometime. he should be our starting tailback.

  32. nighthawk2 says:

    “Can we also transition tag Weaver?” No. You can only use one tag or the other. And we saw how useful the Transition Tag is with Numbskull’s Blunder of the Century (which on some teams would have been a career ender).

    “I’m surprised, considering the talk from recent weeks, that there isn’t a hint of concern regarding signing, franchising no less, a player who was passed out in a busy intersection.”

    It was mentioned early in this thread. But he was arrested for DUI, as was the mega bucks middle linebacker on this team, who received absolutely nothing in the way of punishment from the guy who drafted him. Why? Because he’d already been signed to a bloated contract extension. As was already implied in the earlier post about this, Ruskell is a two faced hypocrite.

  33. I never said an OL can’t be an impact player. I said what others or “experts” seem to say about “impact” players.

    When you think of a sterotypical “impact” player, you think of the headliners; the guys who score TDs and get sacks.

    If I’m all up for getting one of those “impact” players — why have I said time and time again that I want Oher as our first round pick? Because I understand the importance of a dominant OL (hell, Hutch, IMO was our most important “impact” player in ’05 and I’ve said that over and over).

  34. nighthawk2 says:

    “But he was arrested for DUI…”

    Should be “NOT arrested for DUI”. Damn lack of an edit feature.

  35. I don’t view a dominant Punter as an impact player.

  36. nighthawk2 says:

    “I don’t view a dominant Punter as an impact player.”

    I do, especially considering how poor our Special Teams play, particularly punting, has been the last several years. I would have loved to sign Shane Lechler this off season, but the Raiders made him a great offer. Perhaps Al Davis isn’t quite as senile as I thought. A great punter can be a huge weapon for winning the field position battle. That doesn’t mean I want one in the first three rounds though.

  37. nighthawk – I was talking about our #4 pick in the draft:) Me and you want OL, not a punter.

  38. OL — meaning Oher, not Smith, Smith, or Monroe.

  39. hawkforever21 says:

    I really would like to see us keep Weaver…..but they put too much money into TJ and JJ……so it may not happen….but I would love to have Weaver back.

    Also, Willis and I guess Pork Chop at the right price.

    Draft Crabtree, or try and sign Housh. One of the two.

    If not, try and find a way to get one of the top Tackles and possibly Duke Robinson with your top two picks. Then the O-Line should be set for the next (hopefully) 5-10 years.

    Then D-line and safety become the main priorities. Hopefully Timmy can come up with some of his 2nd and 3rd round gems.

  40. OK sorry nix the idea of giving Weaver franchise RB money(didnt know it was a RB designation). However, i still feel he is a MUST NOT LOSE player for our offense. Hill would have been an AFFORDABLE loss in every aspect. Anyone remember David Hawthorne?…convert that guy to OLB and lets see what he can do against some first string offenses.

    Of course this still in hope we can do a sign and trade deal. Any of you arm chair analysts thats worth a damn(nighthawk, dukeshire, bobby k) know the probability of that or how often that happens with a franchise designated player? I would love to get more picks for present or future with all the holes we have.

  41. Usually a sign-and-trade like that is for a legit superstar type of player — like Jared Allen last season. You don’t always see it with players like Hill — who are merely good. Franchise guys get a LOT of money and you have to give up picks too. But I’m with you… somehow get as many picks as possible. Hopefully we find trading partners…

  42. Now if we can only keep Weaver I’ll be happy. Pick up a good RB in the draft (perferably Moreno) and have MoMo backing them up, yep. Address the OL early on, and get lucky on a fewDB’s/Safties and we’ll have a good start.

  43. Ray Willis is the one I’m most worried about.

  44. Josh Brown says:

    “Character is officially out the window”

    I don’t know if you’re saying this based on Ruskell’s definition of the term, “williambryan,” or if you actually believe a 25 year old smoking a doobie is a serious character flaw, but I’m happy to have the football player back on the field.

  45. nighthawk2 says:

    “nighthawk – I was talking about our #4 pick in the draft:) Me and you want OL, not a punter.”

    Agreed, but we don’t need a WR there. I think with the possible exception of FS, our entire focus in the draft in the first 3 rounds should be offensive line.

  46. nighthawk2 says:

    We’ve all seen guys get cut or not signed in free agency or passed over in the draft for not being a member of the Vienna Boys Choir. Tatupu was arrested and pleaded guilty to drunk driving, and Ruskell did absolutely nothing to him. Didn’t even say a word, because he’d already signed a fat extension. Now Mora is ponitificating about Hill in media sessions. This from a guy who got his ass fired out of Atlanta for saying, on air in a radio interview, just how much he’d like to be the Husky’s coach while he was still under contract to the Falcons and while UW still had a coach under contract. On top of that there was the incident with Kerney where some drunken slut that he gave free use of his house in Atlanta to brought home three total strangers for “more beer” after a night of bar hopping, allowing them into Kerney’s home, and then claimed “sexual assualt” while he supposedly slept through the whole thing. Some judgement displayed there, huh? But that was AFTER he signed a fat contract with Seattle. Do you think that if he hadn’t been a crony of Ruskell from his one year Atlanta stint, and that he hadn’t signed that bloated contract already, that this guy who displayed that kind of lack of judgement in “friends” would have been signed here under Reichsfuehrer Ruskell’s “character” demands? No, he wouldn’t.

  47. williambryan says:

    both. TR has become a joke, he told Sando that if he (Hill) had a history it would be a different story but something tells me this wasn’t Hills first time using weed. Ruskell does not care about character, he feels the pressure and needs to win to save his job.

    I don’t think what Hill was caught doing makes him a bad person at all, I know many people who make similar choices and are fine people BUT, if you are Hill, about to cash in big time, why screw it up like that? why now? it shows he is an idiot, and has character flaws.

    Again, not saying he is a bad guy, but he didn’t deserve this tag, I would of liked to see him stay here but at a price that reflects his actions. His play hasn’t been that great anyway. I know we can blame Marshall for a lot of that though. In my opinion he didn’t deserve this tag and/or the huge gauranteed contract he will likely get.

  48. nighthawk2 says:

    Admittedly I haven’t been following Hill’s story in every paper or media williambryan, but if it’s been proven or demonstrated that Leroy Hill had any THC in his system, or even that the car and bag of pot in that car were his, I’ve missed it. Also have yet to hear if Hill has any prior use of weed or anything else in his background. If someone has any info on that, perhaps they could post a link for me. The arresting officer was quoted as saying, if I remember correctly, that he didn’t smell or sense any intoxicants when he questioned Hill at the intersection.

  49. Josh Brown says:

    There’s not a person on earth that doesn’t have character flaws, and there’s not an athlete in America that isn’t grossly overpaid.

    If the guy can help the Seahawks win football games, nothing else matters.

    Hill is good in the locker room, and, if he could stay healthy, great on the football field.

    That’s the bottom line, for fans to care about anything else is a little idiotic, if you ask me.

  50. williambryan says:

    I haven’t follwed the story closer than the average hawk fan, but as the news occured it was obvious what happened. Mora, Ruskell, and Hill (via Ruskell) all have said Hill made a big mistake. What are we to make of that? there was no drugs? The only reason there you haven’t heard of Hills prior uses is because he has not been caught before. It would be ignorant to assume that this most recent case with weed was his first. Again, this does not make him a bad person, and I am not judging him, I just am questioning Ruskells actions as a GM who wanted to rid Seattle of its problems with players that didn’t fit in with the new direction the Hawks were going in. He (Ruskell) got rid of most of Holmgrens guys who didn’t meet his criteria, now his own guys are not meating his own criteria.

  51. williambryan says:

    How do you know what he’s like in the locker room?

    Agreed, everyone has character flaws, having an annoying laugh isn’t as bad as using illegal substances then driving and putting lives other than your own at risk.

    It’s not idiotic to care about more than winning. Everyone wants to win but at what cost? Maybe the Hawks would have a better chance this year if everyone started using steroids.

    The bottom line is real hawk fans want to see the team succeed while doing it the right way. Give Hill a second chance and bring him back at a salary thats fair for everyone, I like that. give him a big payday after what just happened? not okay with that.

  52. nightwulf says:

    I don’t get it, can someone help me out here? I hear lots of people screaming “we need tackles, we need tackles”…but we’ve got Jones (although he’s getting long in the tooth), Locklear, Willis, and Womack. They can all do a decent job. On the interior line, on the other hand, we have…well, Womack does a decent job, Vallos? and that’s about it…But I seem to be the only one suggesting anymore that we need interior linemen more than anything……what am I missing here?

  53. We don’t have Willis though. I desparately hope he is resigned. I really hope an Alex Mack or Duke Robinson fall to our second rounder (if we don’t get Oher in round 1). You’re right, I see our interior as more of a need right now than tackle. The biggest thing with wanting a tackle to come in and play guard is that the best left tackle in football is not the rock of dependability he once was. He’s 35 and coming off a microfracture knee surgery. Not good. We need a good back up plan.

  54. I fully agree that our interior is in the need of most improvement. Granted our whole line was injured and underperformed last season.

    LT – Jones still top 5 in game right now.(looks to be replaced by willis in the future)
    LG – Mike Wahle, very serviceable
    Center – Desperately needed. Spencer a bust. Vallos still unproven
    RG – Ray Willis , should be a very good player but will replace jones in a few years
    RT – Locklear more than serviceable

    Our Center and RG can use the most “investing”. Lets hope we can hang on to Willis otherwise we will be even furthur behind the ball.

  55. freedom_X says:

    If Jones retired or went down for an extended period of time, I believe Seattle would move Locklear to left tackle and use Willis (if re-signed) at right tackle. This is assuming no new additions are made to the line. For short term injuries they keep Locklear on the right to preserve line continuity.

    As I wrote elsewhere, I believe Ruskell means “immediate Pro Bowl performance” when he means impact player. A guy who will play at a high level immediately, no matter what the position.

    We still need to see what Wrotto develops into. He didn’t look like a failure in his limited action. Despite Seattle’s bad luck with the position, guard should be the easiest position on the OL to fill, which is one reason I suspect bad line coaching as a major reason for the line’s decline in the past 3 years.

    It looks like Solari has started to turn that around though. I thought the line was better this year, though still not good enough. But it seemed to be headed in the right direction.

  56. Ray Willis does not have the make-up for a LT. He’s not great in pass protection and wouldn’t make an ideal LT. However, IMO, he is one of the best run blocking RTs in the NFL. He’s not bad in pass protection, but he’s certainly not among the better pass blockers either. Locklear is the obvious candidate to play LT if Walt isn’t able (since he’s good in pass protection and has played there for Walt a few times throughout the years). He’s not an elite T but he’s certainly adequate; does not suck, that’s for sure. In the new zone blocking scheme, I wonder about his abilities at RG? Lock’s best position is RT, but if we’re into playing our talent to its strengths with Willis being (hopefully) resigned… it would make more sense to have Lock at RG and Willis at RT. Willis just isn’t the same at RG than he is at RT, but he’s certainly serviceable.

  57. GOOD! Griffey is coming back and Hill is staying. This is a perfect day.

  58. QB_Sneak says:

    Funny. People bitching about franchising Hill would be the same people ready to string TR up by his toes if Hill walked away because we didn’t franchise him.

    Leroy is a stud. He’s a far better LB than Peterson. You keep a guy like that. $8M is a lot of cheddar, but they could still sign him to a long term agreement at a better figure. Don’t risk letting him walk.

    And people saying he doesn’t fit the “character” guidelines need to realize that even Lofa got a DUI. Character is not being perfect. Character means that when you make a mistake, you pay for it, learn from it, and grow because of it. Character means you’re solid between the lines and even more important in the locker room. Character means a lot of things. Perfection is not one of them.

  59. williambryan says:

    QB sneak, I would not be mad at seeing Hill leave for a couple of reasons. 1, I would like to see Hawthorne playing, Lewis is a proven commodity, Laury has played well when given the opportunity and has the confidence of the team (He is still around after not playing much).

    And I am not railing on Hill at all. I know what he did was a “blip” so to speak, but still, if TR is going to talk about character, he has to make that walk too, or stop talking about it. He let go a number of players with the impression that they weren’t character guys. Djack, Simmons (wasn’t re-signed), Krob, Stevens (rightfully so), and has mishandled many negotiations. I don’t like how Tim Ruskell does things.

    There is no way Hill is better than Peterson. How do you judge this? Peterson was voted to the probowl by fello players and coaches. these guys play against both of them at the same time and if they thought Hill was better, they would put him there… They don’t.

  60. smithcharles says:

    I heard a couple different reports that if we drafted Jenkins at 4 then we might convert him to safety.

    Remember a loser named Russell at safety? We need to replace him and Jenkins might be able to do that.

    I can’t believe McShay has us taking the DT out of Boston College. Weird.

    Hill is young and its good to lock him up since J.Pete will probably be cut next year.

    I can’t believe Ruskell traded the 5th for Colbert. Idiot. Can we trade him for a waterboy or a janitor?

  61. nightwulf says:

    What you’ve seen of Hill the past three years is not what he’s capable of…the schemes that Marshall the Moron was running handcuffed him in a big way, and forced him to play to his weaknesses. Expect to see a whole lot more from hin this year, when we have coaches who actually have a clue.

  62. Josh Brown says:

    I know Hill’s decent in the locker room because his teammates say so. His coaches say so, and so does the media.

    I don’t care if Hill’s a full-blown pothead, I believe that Marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol on pretty much any level you can think of.

    For instance, if Hill was drunk, he probably would have hit something instead of falling asleep at an intersection, but I digress.

    But since you’ve cornered the market on “real Hawk” fandom, I’ll take my 1984 season ticket stubs and toss them in the trash.

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