The news that the New York Giants have waived Will Hill following his third NFL imposed suspension in less than 24 months has caused an outcry among those in the fan base who wanted to see the talented but troubled young safety stay with the team. My guess is that there are those who believe yours truly is feeling vindicated because of my unpopular stance that waiving Hill was, and is, the right move by the Giants.
There is no sense of vindication here. I didn't win anything, or need to have my belief validated. The fact is, Will Hill lost here. He lost his chance to remain with the only NFL organization that was willing to give him a chance after he blew up his college career. He finally lost the support of an organization that has been more patient with him than many teams would have been. Hill has probably lost millions of dollars, since even if he gets another chance no one is giving him a huge contract with guaranteed money. He may, in fact, have completely lost his shot at continuing his NFL career. The Giants have also lost, in a way. They have invested three seasons in trying to develop Hill as both a player and a person, and they have lost in the sense that it is all now time and effort wasted. Also, they have lost because a tremendously talented individual is no longer part of their team.
In a poll started after the suspension was announced, here is something that Jordan Rannan of NJ.com wrote:
Believe what you'd like. The bottom line is that Hill slipped. He made some sort of mistake and now finds himself banned for the first six games of the 2014 season after losing an appeal.
So the Giants severed ties with the oft-troubled safety. It was not a matter of whether Hill could provide something valuable on the field. He played superbly last season, finishing as Pro Football Focus' second-ranked safety.
But the bigger issues were: Could the Giants trust him to remain out of trouble and on the field? Could they count on him to make the right decisions off the field when they were in the stretch run this season and possibly in the playoff hunt?
Fact is, the Giants also win here. They win because an organization with a two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach famous for his rules and for accountability, is able to maintain that credibility with the remaining players in the locker room. They win because they don't always have to wonder when the next Hill screw-up will come, and don't have to continue counting on a player who can't be counted upon. They win because a distraction that could have hung over them for the entire 2014 season has now been removed.
Pat Traina, probably to no one's surprise who reads the work done by either of us, takes a similar stance to the one I have taken on Hill.
I'm only going to say this once. Hill violated the law. Doesn't matter if/when pot gets legalized. We're talking now, the present.— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) June 2, 2014
It sends a BAD example in the locker room if you make an exception and keep a repeated offender.— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) June 2, 2014
Bart Hubbuch took the view of many Giants' fans:
I wouldn't have been so quick to get rid of Will Hill if I were the Giants. Lots and lots of talent there, and he's only 24.— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) June 2, 2014
My only retort to that is the Giants weren't quick to jettison Hill in any way, shape or form. They were the only NFL team to give him a chance after he blew up his college career -- and they gave him two chances to make the team. This is also a third suspension in three years, not a first or second offense.
Some are surprised at how swiftly this decision was announced by the Giants. Not me. The suspension was announced Friday afternoon, and the release came quickly Monday morning. My belief is the decision to cut ties with Hill following a third strike was made long ago -- after his second strike. Hill had told media members he knew he was on his last chance with the Giants, and he let it slip away.
Does Hill get another chance with a different team? Newsday's Tom Rock doesn't think so.
Does another team give Will Hill a shot? Hard to imagine given that none of the 32 drafted him in '11 and only one made him an offer in '12.— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) June 2, 2014
I might differ with Rock on that. There are always coaches around the NFL who believe, no matter how much evidence to the contrary or how many times a player fails to follow the rules, that they can 'fix' a player. They can get through to him even though no one else can. After the way Hill played in 2013, showing the potential to be one of the game's best safeties, I think someone out there will roll the dice.
That, however, is no longer the Giants' concern.
Other reactions from around Twitter:
Will Hill got what he deserved Yet, doesn't mean we can't root for this talented kid to beat an obvious addiction #GMEN— thomas doherty (@tuckahoetommy) June 2, 2014
NYG did what they could with Will Hill,i would of liked to keep him,but how many times u gonna mess up,Giants don't tolerate much,they tried— Gussy Boy (@UncleGusNyc) June 2, 2014
Giants got rid of Will Hill. Yup just let our best safety and probably our best defensive player for smoking weed SMFH— andres velez (@Dre_velezzz) June 2, 2014
-- Every Day Should Be Saturday looks back at Hill career at Florida