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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



June 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM

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Leroy Hill returns to the Seahawks

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Leroy Hill has returned to the Seattle Seahawks, and will participate in the remainder of the offseason workouts.

The news was initially reported by Jason La Canfora of the league-owned Web site, and has subsequently been confirmed by The Seattle Times.

According to La Canfora, NFL.com reporter, Hill could face league discipline for the domestic-violence charge he currently faces in Issaquah, however, that discipline would only come after the legal process concludes.

Right now, Hill has a preliminary-motion hearing on July 14 in Issaquah and then a readiness hearing on July 23 and a trial could begin as soon as the final week of July.

Now, this is significant for several reasons.

1) Hill, 27, has not been practicing or working out with the team since he was arrested in April after an altercation with his girlfriend. He faces a misdemeanor assault charge in Issaquah with a trial that could begin as early as the last week of July.

2) Hill is a five-year starter at weakside linebacker, a powerful hitter. David Hawthorne has been playing first-string weaksdie linebacker in Hill's absence.

Hill still has several outstanding issues:

First, is the resolution of the domestic-violence charge he is facing in Issaquah.

Second, how will that case affect his active probation in Georgia? Hill was placed on one year of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drug possession at the beginning of April. Brian Fortner, solicitor general, has indicated he may move to revoke Hill's probation, which would result in Hill being called in front of a judge to explain what has happened.

And then, there's the matter of league discipline first for the drug possession -- which likely will result in a one-game suspension. La Canfora's report indicates that any league discipline regarding the assault charge will await the resolution of the matter.

Now, it's important to note that any league discipline arising from the case in Georgia will not affect his contract status for 2010, which calls for him to earn $6 million. That salary is guaranteed for skill and injury, meaning the Seahawks owe him that money if he gets hurt or his level of play declines. It has been reported that his contract is voidable if he were to be suspended for the drug charge in Georgia resulting from his 2009 arrest. That is not true. A one-game suspension because of that charge would have no impact on the guarantees of his 2010 salary.

That fact was reported by John Clayton of ESPN when Hill re-signed with Seattle in April 2009.

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