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Will Hill facing 10-game suspension for drug violation

During the Baltimore Ravens' introductory news conference for newly signed Eric Weddle on Wednesday, coach John Harbaugh wouldn't delve into the plans for how he'd divvy up snaps for his glut of safeties.

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The team answered the question an hour later by announcing they had released Will Hill. But Hill's release wasn't strictly based on performance or depth chart reasons.

The Ravens parted ways with Hill because he failed a drug test and is facing a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, a source informed of his situation told NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. It's the fourth time Hill has ran afoul of the NFL's substance abuse policy since entering the league in 2012.

ESPN first reported Hill's suspension.

Hill's release paves the way for converted cornerback Lardarius Webb to start alongside Weddle.

The move comes less than seven months after the team signed the oft-troubled safety to a two-year contract, worth a total of $7 million, with $5 million in guarantees. Cutting Hill saves the Ravens just under $3 million in salary-cap space.

Hill signed with the Ravens in 2014 after being cut by the New York Giants following a third strike against the NFL's substance abuse policy. Hill served a six-game suspension to start the 2014 season. Hill played exceedingly well for Big Blue, but they couldn't trust the safety to not get suspended again.

The 26 year old's on-field play was up and down in Baltimore, ranging from big-hitting plays to boneheaded blown coverages. Hill provided perhaps the Ravens' most memorable play of the 2015 season, returning a blocked field-goal attempt for a winning touchdown versus the Cleveland Browns.

Players general manager Ozzie Newsome jettisons don't have a good track record of production elsewhere, but Hill has the talent to land on his feet in someone's secondary -- assuming he stays out of trouble off the field and someone wants to take a chance on him.

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