Giants safety Will Hill has been suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the 2014 season, a third such punishment that will almost certainly spell the end of his short but troubled career with the team. Hill had served two previous four-game suspensions, one in each of the past two years. This is his second violation of the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. In 2012, he was suspended for violating the policy for performance-enhancing drugs.
Hill reportedly tested positive in this latest violation and appealed the decision. The announcement of the suspension means that appeal was denied. While the NFL does not announce what drug a player tested positive for, Hill spoke openly about his use of marijuana after he failed a drug test and was suspended last summer.
Hill is eligible to return to the Giants' roster on Oct. 13, but given the time and energy the team has put into trying to keep the talented safety clean, the most likely scenario is that he will be released before then. He is eligible to continue participating in offseason workouts and the preseason if he remains on the Giants' roster at that point. If he is released before serving the suspension and another team signs Hill, he would still have to serve the six-game punishment.
Hill was expected to be a big part of the Giants' defense this season, teaming with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown to form a three-safety package coordinator Perry Fewell is fond of using. The Giants have three other safeties: Veteran Quintin Demps, second-year player Cooper Taylor and rookie Nat Berhe. The Giants drafted Berhe in part because he can play the hybrid linebacker-safety position that Deon Grant established with the team and Hill was expected to play this year.