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Drug charge dropped against Seahawks linebacker

By Danny O'neil

The Seattle Times (MCT)

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 8:12 p.m. MST

SEATTLE _ A drug-possession charge against Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill was dismissed Monday in Atlanta at the request of the prosecution.

Hill and a female companion were arrested in Georgia in the early hours of Feb. 25 after police found what was alleged to be marijuana at an apartment belonging to Hill.

The resulting charge for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana was dropped in Atlanta Municipal Court, a court clerk confirmed. Hill's attorney, Ed Garland, did not return a message from The Seattle Times, though his assistant confirmed the charge was dismissed.

Shelly Wojohn of the Atlanta City Solicitor's office did not return a message regarding why the charges were dropped. Hill also did not respond to a message.

Hill, 29, has played the previous seven seasons with the Seahawks, starting all 16 games in 2011 while playing on a one-year contract. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.

While last month's arrest was Hill's third in three years, only the first of those arrests resulted in a conviction.

Hill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2010. In April of that year, Hill was arrested on an allegation of domestic violence. He received a stipulated order of continuance in that case, which called for 18 months of court probation during which he was to have no law violations and possess no weapons.

No tag for Hawks

The Seahawks did not designate anyone as franchise player Monday, which was the league's deadline for using the tag.

Every NFL team has the option of using the tag on one player each year, preventing that player from becoming an unrestricted free agent. Seattle was one of 11 teams not to designate a franchise player this year. It's the second year the Seahawks have chosen not to use their tag.

Running back Marshawn Lynch was considered the top candidate to receive Seattle's franchise tag, but he signed a four-year contract with the team.

The Seahawks have stated re-signing defensive end Red Bryant is a priority, but the price of the franchise tag on a defensive end is projected to exceed $10 million. While general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll both reiterated last month that re-signing Bryant was important, the team wasn't willing to go that high.

The Seahawks have 16 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 13: Hill, Bryant, LB David Hawthorne, FB Michael Robinson, RB Justin Forsett, DE Raheem Brock, TE John Carlson, QB Charlie Whitehurst, OL Paul McQuistan, LB Heath Farwell, DL Anthony Hargrove, S Atari Bigby, OL Mike Gibson, LB Matt McCoy, LB David Vobora and DE Jimmy Wilkerson.

(c)2012 The Seattle Times

Visit The Seattle Times at www.seattletimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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