The Baltimore Ravens have announced that they have signed safety Will Hill to a two-year contract extension today. The dollar figures have yet to be released.
The 25-year-old was originally set to play this season under the restricted free agent tender. Hill signed the one-year, $1.542 million tender in March, but the move will keep Hill with the Ravens through the 2016 season. Terms of the deal are still unknown.
“It means a lot to me,” said Hill. “I wanted to be a Raven. This extension gives me a lot of confidence on the playing field. It helps me see what the organization thinks of me.”
The new contract signifies a leap of faith by the front office in Hill as he hasn’t been the best teammate since entering the league in 2012 as an undrafted rookie free agent. Hill has already been suspended three times in his three-year career, and was released by the New York Giants last offseason after his third strike.
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The former Florida Gator joined the Ravens just before training camp last year and was a blessing in disguise for Dean Pees defense. He was forced to miss the first six games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but the poor play of Matt Elam put immediately got Hill onto the field. Hill would start eight of 10 games, recording 42 tackles, four passes defended and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
Hill was named to the SI.com NFL All-Breakout Team and the Ravens may have found a long-term answer at the safety position. That would be a steal for General Manager Ozzie Newsome who signed Hill for basically nothing after multiple off-the-field issues. He has been a model citizen since joining the Ravens, and the investment by Ozzie lets you know that the franchise feels that is behind him.
With Elam set to miss the season with a torn biceps injury, John Harbaugh needs big things from the starting strong safety. Baltimore has a solid duo in the back end of the secondary with Hill and newcomer Kendrick Lewis as they hope to fix their coverage woes of a season ago.
This could be just the first step for Hill and his future with Baltimore. Another good year this season could put him in line for another contract from the Ravens down the road.
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