Ravens To Cut Will Hill

4:22pm: Hill has been suspended ten games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, league sources tell Adam Schefter and Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

4:02pm: As I speculated below, the Ravens may in fact have known something that we didn’t regarding Hill’s off-field behavior. According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link), the safety is facing potential discipline from the NFL. Since Hill has already been suspended three times by the league, he could be facing a lengthy ban if he’s suspended again.

2:10pm: Following the Ravens’ signing of free agent safety Eric Weddle, the other shoe has dropped. According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), the team is releasing safety Will Hill. The move has since been confirmed by the team.Will Hill

After acquiring Weddle, the Ravens had a glut at the safety position to address, with Hill, Lardarius Webb, Kendrick Lewis, and Matt Elam among the players on the club’s depth chart. Although Hill didn’t have as large a cap hit as Webb, and likely had a better chance of making an on-field impact in 2016 than Lewis or Elam, he’s the one who finds himself out of a job.

Having made 14 starts in 2015 and received a contract extension from the team, Hill was Baltimore’s best safety according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked him 17th out of 88 qualified safeties at the position. For the season, he had 64 tackles, a sack, an interception, and six passes defended, but he saw his role reduced near the end of the season, appearing in just 49 defensive snaps in the Ravens’ final two games.

Hill has violated NFL policies in the past, resulting in multiple suspensions, and it’s possible the Ravens know something that we don’t regarding his off-field behavior. For now though, it looks like an on-field decision, with the team prepared to pair Weddle with Webb in its starting lineup. By cutting Hill, the Ravens will create $2.84MM in cap savings for the 2016 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Ravens To Cut Will Hill

  1. Rory Parks

    This is certainly curious, unless, as Luke indicated, the Ravens know something we don’t. Hill may not be as strong in coverage as the team might like, but he’s not bad, and as the Ravens learned last year, you can never have too much secondary depth. I thought they would either release Webb or ask him to take a pay cut, as he is aging and has proven he can’t stay healthy. I would trust Webb a lot more as a slot corner/backup safety than as a starting safety, which is apparently how Baltimore intends to use him (and though he has the talent and IQ to make the switch from CB to safety, he has not played safety since college).

    • Rory Parks

      And what once was curious no longer is. Webb and Weddle could be a nice tandem, especially since the traditional FS/SS distinctions are growing increasingly meaningless, but you have to wonder about Webb’s health. The Ravens need to continue adding to their secondary.


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