As safety Will Hill stares down the barrel at a third drug-related ban from the NFL, he's maintained his innocence, proclaiming to his New York Giants teammates that he's been clean and prepared to appeal his suspension.
"Will is a guy that has definitely had his struggles, as well as anyone of us within this league," Antrel Rolle told The Star-Ledger. "Right now, I've spoken to Will several times and he's said, 'Antrel, I've been clean.' Right now, I have no choice but to go off what he says. Until we find out otherwise."
Hill's struggles have been well-documented dating back to his days at Florida and although he's never been one to shy away from them, this most recent run-in could cost him his job with the Giants. The team is said to be "livid" after giving him the benefit of the doubt following a 2012 suspension for Adderall, a 2013 suspension for marijuana and a recent arrest for failing to pay child support.
The Giants had previously warned Hill that, despite their support, another slip-up would mean it's time to ship out. And while General Manager Jerry Reese has already stated the team would wait to make a decision on Hill's future until the NFL completes their process, things are not looking good for the supremely talented safety.
Still, at least for the time being, his teammates are taking his word for it and standing by their friend.
"I've been speaking to Will quite frequently in the offseason," Rolle said. "I'm sure other guys, like Deon Grant, have reached out to him. You just check up on him and make sure everything is all right, just make sure he's taking care of himself."
"At the end of the of the day, an adult has to be an adult," he added. "Will has to be accountable for his own life. Will has to be smart enough and alert enough to know the dos and don'ts of this league"
Perhaps too little, too late to save Hill, the NFL has reviewed their drug policy and pending upcoming changes would, potentially, lessen the punishment for players who test positive for marijuana (as opposed to other drugs). The league is also in the midst of medical research to determine the medicinal values of marijuana — a drug that is becoming more widely legal and available across the country.
Of course, none of this matters if that's not what triggered Hill's latest positive drug test. And, even if it was marijuana, none of these potential changes would save him from a suspension that is alleged to be somewhere in the 8-16 game range.
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