By John Boyle Herald Writer
Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill, who was arrested last month for marijuana possession, had his charge dismissed Monday in Atlanta Municipal Court.
Hill and a female companion were arrested on Feb. 25 after a police search found marijuana in his Atlanta apartment, but he won’t face charges after prosecutors submitted a motion to dismiss the charges.
“It was dismissed because he was absolutely innocent,” said Hill’s attorney, Edward Garland. “He had no knowledge that his apartment had been used in his absence and somebody had left a trace amount of marijuana in his apartment. And the prosecution moved to dismiss the case because he was innocent.”
Hill and his female acquaintance, whose charge was also dismissed, both submitted to urine tests following the arrests and both came up clean according to court documents provided by Garland.
“He took a drug screen immediately after his arrest that showed no drugs of any sort in his system or in that of his companion,” said Garland, who has also represented NFL stars Ray Lewis and Ben Roethlisberger.
Monday’s dismissal provides vindication for Hill, who had two previous arrests and had pledged before last season that his troubles were behind him. Hill was arrested in 2009 in Atlanta for marijuana possession and received 12 months of probation. The following year, he was arrested for domestic violence, which led to a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and a fine of two game checks.
Hill, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13, had his most productive year since 2006, with 89 tackles and four sacks while starting all 16 games last season. Monday’s dismissal should increase the chances that Seattle attempts to re-sign Hill, and will also make him more attractive in the free agent market.
Monday was the deadline for NFL teams to apply the franchise tag to their own players, and Seattle declined to do so, meaning 16 players will become unrestricted free agents on March 13 if they remain unsigned.
Running back Marshawn Lynch was the most likely candidate to be franchised, but instead signed a four-year deal Sunday.
Among the highest-profile Seahawks free agents are defensive end Red Bryant, linebackers David Hawthorne and Hill, fullback Michael Robinson and tight end John Carlson.