Three days after the NFL announced that Will Hill is facing a third drug-related suspension, the Giants waived the talented safety Monday.
Hill had been participating in the team's spring workout program while awaiting an appeal on his latest failed drug test. If he signs with another team, he will be eligible to compete in offseason and preseason workouts, as well as preseason games, but must serve the six-game suspension before he can play in any regular-season games.
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It's unlikely any other team will be willing to extend Hill an opportunity given the back door through which he entered the NFL. Considered a high-round draft pick out of the University of Florida, Hill went undrafted in 2011 because of personal and behavioral issues that scared off all 32 teams.
He did not play football that season and was signed by the Giants in 2012 as a free agent after a tryout at rookie minicamp. Hill served a four-game suspension that season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Giants were willing to overlook that incident -- Hill said he was taking the banned prescription drug Adderall before signing with the team and tested positive for it -- and he played in 12 games that season.
Last year, Hill again was suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy and program for substances of abuse. He said last summer that the pressures of playing so close to his home in New Jersey had led him to rely on marijuana. The Giants invested more efforts into keeping Hill clean, a program that was nearly derailed in December when he was arrested for delinquent child support and the New Jersey police officer who made the stop reported evidence of marijuana use in the car (Hill was not charged for that).
The third strike came this spring when Hill tested positive for marijuana a second time. According to a report from NJ.com, Hill told friends the positive test was a result of secondhand smoke. When his appeal was denied Friday, the Giants decided to cut ties with the player and released him Monday even though they had high hopes for him on the field.
Last year, safeties coach Dave Merritt said he thought Hill would be a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
In two years, Hill played in 24 games with 10 starts. He had 100 tackles (87 solo), two interceptions returned for 38 yards with a touchdown, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, plus 26 special-teams tackles.