Baltimore signed free safety Eric Weddle on Monday, and head coach John Harbaugh appears committed to turning Lardarius Webb into a full-time safety, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun:
Harbaugh discussing a potential safety partnership between Weddle and Webb. Doesn't commit to way he'll use glut of safeties.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 16, 2016
As a result, Hill was left without a starting place, and paying nearly $4.6 million to a backup safety makes little sense. The Ravens need every penny they can get considering they have just $5.87 million in cap space, per Spotrac.
CBS Baltimore's Samuel Njoku isn't so sure, however, Webb will be a better option than Hill in 2016:
The way Harbaugh spoke, it seems as if they'll go with Weddle and Webb. Leaving Will Hill as the odd man out. Can't think of a worse mistake— Samuel Njoku (@Ravens_Examiner) March 16, 2016
Hill finished with 64 combined tackles and one interception in 2015, and Pro Football Focus graded him the 17th-best safety in the league. PFF's Gordon McGuinness noted his performance did decline in the second half:
Interesting to note that though 8 weeks of 2015, Will Hill was our 4th highest graded safety. Weeks 9-17 he was 70th— Gordon McGuinness (@PFF_Gordon) March 16, 2016
The 26-year-old ran into trouble off the field during his time with the New York Giants, missing the first six games of the 2014 season while serving a suspension. Those problems didn't follow Hill to Baltimore, though, once his suspension ended.
Still, Bleacher Report's Ian Kenyon wonders if there will be more to his departure from the team:
Only reason i can think of is maybe Ravens learned of (another) off-field incident with Will Hill that isn't public yet. But i don't know.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) March 16, 2016
Another off-field incident would obviously hurt Hill's value on the open market. Barring that circumstance, he should have little trouble signing with a team.
The Ravens' decision certainly raises some question marks. Hill was a proven commodity, while Webb has spent the entirely of his NFL career at cornerback. He'll have big shoes to fill as he slides over in the secondary.