New York Giants safety Will Hill has been suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the 2014 regular season after violating the league's policy and program for substances of abuse, according to an NFL spokesperson, via the team's official website.
Updates from Monday, June 2
The Giants announced via the team's official website that Hill's time in New York has come to an end:
The Giants today waived safety Will Hill, who played in 24 games with 10 starts for the team over the past two seasons.
Hill was signed by the Giants as a free agent in 2012, and over the past two seasons, his statistics are 100 tackles (87 solo), two interceptions returned for 38 yards with a touchdown, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, plus 26 special teams tackles.
The suspension is Hill's third over the past two years. He was suspended for Adderall (considered to be a performance-enhancing drug) in 2012 and marijuana last year.
Earlier this month, teammate Antrel Rolle discussed Hill's situation, per NJ.com's Jordan Raanan:
"Will is a guy that has definitely had his struggles, as well as anyone of us within this league. Right now, I've spoken to Will several times and he's said, 'Antrel, I've been clean.' Right now, I have no choice but to go off what he says. Until we find out otherwise."
Is a six-game suspension appropriate in Hill's case?
According to the statement, Hill will be allowed to participate in the team's offseason and preseason activities, but won't be eligible to return to the Giants' active roster until October 13, the day after New York's Week 6 showdown with division rival Philadelphia.
The 24-year-old has appeared in 24 regular-season games for the Giants since being signed by the team in May of 2012. A former standout with the Florida Gators, Hill emerged as a key player in New York's secondary in 2013, ranking fourth on the team in total tackles with 77 and intercepting two passes despite missing the first four games of the season because of suspension, as noted by Jonathan Capace:
People are forgetting how much the defense changed when Will Hill came back— Jonathan Capace (@Capace17) May 30, 2014
Hill was also one of only two Giants defenders to record a touchdown in 2013.
While Hill's short-term future has been determined, his troubling number of suspensions certainly raises questions about his long-term status in the league.
The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have made it clear that there will be consequences for repeat offenders of the league's substance abuse program, and if Hill doesn't learn from his slew of past mistakes, it may not be long before the defensive standout finds himself out of an NFL job.
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