Extreme talent is difficult to ignore.
Upon going unclaimed off waivers after his release from the Giants in early June, safety Will Hill is back on an NFL roster after signing with Baltimore on Friday. Ironically, it was an injury to another former Giant, Aaron Ross, which prompted the Ravens to entertain such a high risk / high reward transaction.
As a three-time offender of the NFL’s drug enforcement procedures, Hill’s checkered past is common knowledge in Big Blue circles. He was suspended for performance enhancing drugs (Adderall) in 2012, substance abuse (marijuana) in 2013, and again violated the league’s substance abuse policy in April of 2014.
After watching him go undrafted out of Florida in 2011, and forced to an inhabit an Arena League Football roster to continue pursuing his obvious football gifts, the Giants took a chance on the behaviorally questionable Hill during the 2012 offseason. He rewarded their faith and patience with a spectacular 2013 season, a campaign that saw him finish as the 3rd most productive safety in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus‘ detailed measures (15.9). Hill covered a ton of ground in pass coverage, while he remained surprisingly disciplined and — quite literally — form tackled his way into the hearts of the fanbase.
Suffice it to say, Hill had every reason towards the weight of his wallet to clean up his act during the spring months… but alas, he could not. Prosperity and discipline between the lines did little to alter his off-field persona. The three strikes and you’re out statute sent him packing from the east coast, and for nearly four months he remained on the wire. The NFL is not a forgiving league when it comes to attitude failure, and Will Hill learned this the hard way.
However, short on numbers in their defensive back depth chart, Baltimore was enticed by Hill’s boatload of talent. Only time will tell if this move was prudent or disastrous. Do you believe in football karma? Regardless of the answer to that question, Will Hill landed on his feet. There are few organizations as solid as the Baltimore Ravens, who already have their proverbial public relations “hands” tied behind their backs with fallout from the Ray Rice incident.
So, no matter his talent level and their need at the position, if Will Hill doesn’t keep it together in Baltimore, he may find himself out of the league. It will be interesting to see how taut the Ravens keep Will Hill’s leash on his first official second chance in the NFL. One thing is for certain: Giants Nation will be watching his progress intently? How do you feel about the situation, Giants Nation?