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Moving Leroy Hill

Seattle might be out a very good talent. That is the cold, business outcome of a possible heinous crime. Leroy Hill is kind of an enthusiast's linebacker. He is not flashy or hyped and he's never filled out a stat sheet, but he makes good decisions, good tackles, shows good containment, good explosion down hill on the screen, and batters and wraps like few players can. But Hill is growing old anyhow, is always, always injured, and with this recent arrest and the Seahawks subsequently barring Hill from practice, he might just be gone. He might be nearing the end of his career in Blue.

One of many parting gifts given by Tim Ruskell is Hill's contract. It is voidable after the second season. It was, whatever your opinions of Ruskell, a brilliant stroke of negotiating. However, after the opportunity to void has passed, Hill is just another expensive player on a one-way road towards 30. The voidable year allows Seattle to escape, but moreover, it makes the embattled linebacker an attractive trade target. It might be the only thing apart from his talent that does.

With the way the draft is shaking out, Seattle's needs, and Carroll's scheme, moving Hill, even right now while his stock is low, might be the right move. If Seattle wants to stick traditional 4-3, it could draft Derrick Morgan and start Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu and David Hawthorne at linebacker. That's still a hell of a unit. If it wants to flex 3-4 but retain 4-3 principles, it could draft in my estimation the best pass rusher in this class, Brandon Graham. How sweet would it look having Graham and Curry challenging opposite edges? Where's the pass rush coming from? Everywhere. Graham could probably be had at 14, but if not, Sergio Kindle is not a huge step down.

The point is, Seattle has surplus talent at linebacker. Hill is expensive but tradable, and at an age where he is more valuable to an immediate contender than he is to a rebuilding team. The Seahawks have put an emphasis on this draft, and I think for good reason. Moving Hill can add a pick without opening another hole. For this team, in this position, with its roster, and its excellent depth at linebacker but startling needs almost everywhere else, it makes a lot of sense.