Seattle Seahawks Leroy Hill Assault Trial Set To Begin Thursday

July 25, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The Seattle Seahawks are just one of the many teams reporting to training camp next week, and they hope that an off-field distraction to one of their players will be behind him soon. Star linebacker Leroy Hill is scheduled to be in court Thursday to fight assault/domestic violence charges the day before the Seahawks report to camp. The Seahawks’ 2010 NFL betting odds should be affected if Hill misses anymore time due to the trial.

Drafted out of Clemson in the ninth round with the 98th overall pick, Hill made an immediate impact for the Seahawks when starting linebacker Jamie Sharper went down with an injury. In his rookie season, Hill recorded 72 tackles and 7 1/2 sacks from his outside linebacker position.

Hill and fellow rookie linebacker Lofa Tatupu were important pieces to the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl in 2005. That season, Hill was also named to his first Pro Bowl, but was unable to play due to an ankle injury. 2010 NFL betting trends may not favor the Seahawks if he is injured again.

In 2009 the Seahawks placed the franchise tag on Hill before drafting highly sought-after Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry with the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. The Seahawks removed the franchise tag from Hill, but days later he resigned with the team for six years at $38 million.

Issaquah police responded to Hill’s home in April, and arrested the linebacker after an apparent altercation between Hill and his girlfriend. A police report said that Hill’s girlfriend had obvious markings and injuries concurrent with a domestic dispute. Hill’s girlfriend also told authorities that he had caused those injuries. The linebacker was then taken into custody without conflict.

Hill is also currently on 12-month probation after a January 2009 arrest for marijuana possession. Police in Atlanta, Georgia found Hill passed out behind the wheel of his car, obviously intoxicated. He reached a plea agreement in a Georgia court that let him off with a year’s probation and fines.

Due to his off-field transgressions, the NFL suspended Hill for the 2010 season opener for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He must also give up two game checks.

The prosecution plans to pursue action on Hill, and posturing to make a major case against him. Head prosecutor Lynn Moberly has requested a material-witness warrant for his girlfriend, who has remained unnamed.

With the Seahawks scheduled to report to camp next week, head coach Pete Carroll and the team must look past off-field distractions if they are to turn around the team from a disappointing 2009 record of 4-12.

Pre-season Super Bowl XLV odds have the Seahawks as underdogs to win the championship game at +6000.

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