Do Leroy Hill and Brandon Marshall Have Futures with the Seattle Seahawks?

Chris CluffCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2010

RENTON, WA - JULY 31:  Defensive end Patrick Kerney #97 looks on during training camp at the Seahawks training facility on July 31, 2009 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

As the Seahawks commence their first minicamp under coach Pete Carroll, controversy swirls around the futures of Walter Jones, Leroy Hill, and Brandon Marshall.

But there is no question about Patrick Kerney’s situation, as the 33-year-old defensive end reportedly has decided to retire.

Kerney’s status with the team was tenuous anyway, considering he was due to make $5.17 million in 2010, was coming off elbow surgery, and has a bad shoulder. He missed 10 games over the last two seasons because of the shoulder and other issues.

In a statement released by the Seahawks, Kerney said, “The toll that has been taken on my body will no longer allow me to train, and hence, perform, at a level that is acceptable to me.”

Kerney likely will have to repay the unamortized portion of the $10-million signing bonus he received in 2007, which amounts to $5 million. So, the Hawks should save over $10 million because of his retirement.

Jones might be planning to follow Kerney. The All-Pro left tackle spent all of 2009 rehabilitating from microfracture surgery on his knee, and he is not expected to play for the Hawks again.

On Super Bowl Sunday, he tweeted, “I have come to the [conclusion] that it is time for me to retire from football.” However, he has not officially announced it.

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Jones probably won’t be at this minicamp, and he might not officially declare his intentions until the summer.

That’s fine, because there is no rush, and the team is willing to wait for him.

With no salary cap, his $7.3 million salary doesn’t hurt the team now, and won’t need to be paid unless he is on the roster for Week One.

Another guy who most likely will not be on the active roster for the first game is Hill, who was arrested on domestic assault charges Saturday, just days after receiving probation in a case of marijuana possession in Georgia last year.

Hill is now facing possible jail time in Georgia and a league suspension that now figures to be more than just a single game.

Carroll and the Hawks are getting a firsthand look at the perils of trading for Marshall, who himself has been involved in multiple domestic disputes over the last few years, and was suspended by the league for last season’s opener because of it.

Marshall’s initial suspension was for three games but was cut to one game, plus another game check. Hill probably is looking at a four-game punishment, if he isn’t in jail for probation violation when the season starts.

The decision to give Hill a six-year, $38 million contract last year―right after his marijuana arrest―now looks like a big gamble that has backfired.

After looking like an ascending player in his first three years, Hill has now missed nine games over the last two years due to injuries, and has been a complete non-factor when he has played. He was paid $5 million last season for 11 nondescript games.

In light of his legal issues, injuries, poor play, and big contract ($6 million salary this year), he has no trade value at all.

The Seahawks could release him, but if they then traded for Marshall, they would look like pretty big hypocrites. Better just to hold on to Hill for now, and see how it shakes out over the next few months.

Meanwhile, Marshall signed his one-year, $2.5 million tender with the Broncos today, which is a likely precursor to a trade. The deadline for offer sheets is Thursday, but it was obvious no team was willing to give up a first-round pick for Marshall.

By signing his tender, Marshall is giving the Broncos the ability to talk to any team about trading him. Of course, any team that trades for him will necessarily want to sign him to a long-term extension, so that is where Marshall still retains influence on where he goes.

Drew Rosenhaus, a super-agent with a lot of experience getting his clients traded, recently predicted that Marshall (who is not his client) would be dealt for a second-rounder and another pick. We have said the Hawks would likely end up giving up a second and a fourth if they got him.

The Seahawks have been the only team to express public interest in Marshall, but apparently other teams have contacted the Broncos, too.

Now that he has signed his tender, we’re about to find out where he’s going.