Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with marijuana possession in an Atlanta suburb after police there found the Seahawks linebacker passed out behind the wheel, authorities from the Douglas County sheriff’s office told the Associated Press.
Police found Hill at about 4 a.m. Saturday at a major intersection in suburban Atlanta.
Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. Dwayne Taylor said officers found less than one ounce of marijuana in the vehicle. A court date has not yet been set, and Hill was released after posting a $1,500 bond. Officials did not know if he has an attorney.
“He was at an intersection passed out behind the wheel,” Taylor told ESPN. “The deputies conducted an investigation and found two bags of marijuana in the car.”
A spokesman for the Seattle Seahawks declined to comment on the matter.
Hill also was cited for having a faulty tail light, according to an ESPN report. Taylor told ESPN that Hill was not tested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Hill, 26, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of February, and seems likely to be the team’s most sought after player in free agency.
Drafted by Seattle in the third round of the 2005 draft, Hill has started for Seattle since his rookie season, totaling 50 regular-season games in four seasons for the Seahawks.
Hill finished the 2008 season with 84 tackles in 12 games, which led the team at the time, but missed the final four games with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Seattle Seahawks team president and general manager Tim Ruskell, who puts a premium on bringing in players with good character, said during a recent interview that the team will make signing Hill a priority in free agency. However, the arrest could reshape Ruskell’s opinion.
“All options will be open,” Ruskell said. “Obviously we are starting talks again with his agent. Our priority is to have him back on the football team.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437
Can Raiders, 49ers share?
The NFL is urging the 49ers to explore sharing a new stadium with their cross-Bay neighbors, the Raiders, hoping the Bay Area could follow the lead of the New York Giants and the New York Jets, who have joined forces to privately finance the most expensive stadium in U.S. sports history.
The owners of the Giants and Jets say they too believe joining forces may be the best hope for the Bay Area’s two teams to build a new stadium, especially in such dire economic times. The $1.6 billion Jets-Giants stadium in New Jersey will use new video technology to broadcast each team’s colors and logo throughout the stadium for home games — allowing two rival franchises with different histories and fan bases to feel at home.
The 49ers have not begun formal discussions with the Raiders, but the team plans to expand the scope of its environmental review in Santa Clara for a stadium that could accommodate two teams playing at least 20 games a year.
“The NFL has encouraged us to explore the possibility of a two-team facility to address the economics” of building a new stadium, Jed York, the 49ers president, said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News.
York cautioned that the teams are nowhere near a decision to share a stadium, but added, “I think it’s important you look at all of your options.”
Jags get five coaches
The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms with five new assistant coaches, including two coordinators.
Coach Jack Del Rio hired former Cleveland defensive coordinator Mel Tucker to replace Gregg Williams, who left after one season in what his agent called an “amicable divorce.”
Russ Purnell was hired as special teams coordinator.
The Jags also added quality control coach Johnny Cox, defensive line assistant Charlie Jackson and strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson.
Brian Schottenheimer is sticking around to run the New York Jets’ offense despite losing out to Rex Ryan for the head coaching job. … Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jonathan Dekker was arrested in Alexandria, Va., and charged with obstruction of justice.
News Tribune news services contributed to this report.