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For Hill, one outstanding season deserves another
For Leroy Hill, the 2010 NFL season was a mix of second chances and double takes.
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A look at the Seahawks’ free-agent activity:
Players agreed/signed from other teams
Seahawks players re-signed/agreed
Seahawks players signed/agreed with other teams
The Seahawks’ veteran linebacker did not re-sign with the team that selected him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft until July 29 and he then watched in amazement – and amusement – as middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu was released two days later and fellow outside linebacker Aaron Curry was traded in October.
“It’s crazy. It’s unreal,” Hill said at the time, with a smile and then a laugh, as he tried to figure out how he was still around while Tatupu and Curry were gone. “But it is what it is. It’s a crazy business – and I think me still being here and Lofa being gone proves it.”
Hill, 29, will have another encore, as the team announced Thursday that he has agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
Also returning will be linebacker and special teams standout Matt McCoy, who agreed to a one-year deal as well.
Hill wasn’t just around in 2010; he turned in the first 16-start season of his seven-year career. His 89 tackles ranked fourth on the No. 9-ranked defense in the NFL, and were the second-highest total of Hill’s career. He also produced four sacks, which ranked second on the team and again were the second-highest total of his career. Hill produced 92 tackles in 2006 and 7.5 sacks as a rookie in 2005.
Retaining Hill has been a priority since the free-agency period began March 13, but the need was spiked last week after middle linebacker and leading tackler David Hawthorne signed with the New Orleans Saints.
Hill provides experience, stability and productivity on the weak side. He and just re-upped cornerback Marcus Trufant are the only players remaining from the Seahawks’ 2005 Super Bowl team.
McCoy, meanwhile, led the Seahawks with 19 special teams in 2010, his first season with the team. McCoy, also 29, had three special teams tackles and also was being used as a situational linebacker last season before having season-ending knee surgery after just four games.
“It’s a blast,” McCoy said at the time of finally getting some snaps on defense after playing predominately on special teams in his first six NFL seasons. “It’s the chance I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been playing special teams for a long time, but I haven’t played linebacker for a while. So it’s just fun to be out there again.”
Now, Hill and McCoy will be out there again.