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Good meeting with commissioner leads to Hill rejoining Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. -- Saying he has "rededicated" himself to playing football and being a better person, Leroy Hill practiced with the Seattle Seahawks for the first time this offseason.

The starting linebacker's return on Tuesday came after a recent meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss Hill's legal troubles.

"Oh, man, I'm super happy," the four-year starter said following his first practice since an arrest April 10 for investigation of domestic violence. "I'm with my teammates, playing football and everything. I'm happy to be back."

Hill said his meeting a couple of weeks ago with Goodell was "instructive."

The 27-year-old Hill is facing a potential trial next month in suburban Seattle on the domestic-violence charge. He also could have his probation revoked in Georgia. He got that in an April plea deal on a marijuana charge.

"It was informative, it was a good meeting. Everything went well," Hill said of seeing the commissioner, who has the power to suspend him under his personal-conduct policy. "It was just a Q-and-A, basically. It was informative. I listened a lot, learned a lot.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the league gave the Seahawks reason to be "comfortable" with allowing Hill to return. The team had said it was keeping Hill away to deal with his legal problems.

Carroll doesn't know yet if Hill will be suspended for any part of the 2010 season.

"We're comfortable with what we know right now," Carroll said. "There's still stuff coming, and he has a date and a couple (court) dates coming up that he's going to continue to work on his issues there and his situation. We'll know more in a month from now or something like that.

"He wants to be a part of this thing, and he's ready to get going. And in the meantime, we're going to bring him back as fast as we can and then we'll just take it one day at a time."

Asked if he expected Hill to be eligible for all 16 games this season, Carroll said: "We'll have to wait and see on that. I don't know that. I don't know how that's going to go."

Last week, Carroll made Hill's job sound iffy because of all the time he has missed.

"The other guys have just rocketed ahead with their chances and taking advantage of that," the coach said of the progress made by fellow Seahawks linebackers during minicamps and organized team activities.

Hill had a lot of time to think during his forced hiatus.

"I took that time to just reflect, you know, and sort of live to myself," he said. "I missed football. I realized that I love football. And not being able to play football, it sort of hurt. I just rededicated myself to playing football and being the best person I can be."

A copy of the police report from Issaquah, Wash., states both Hill's girlfriend and Hill called the police over the alleged domestic violence on April 10.

The girlfriend told police Hill pulled her down stairs by her ponytail. She said Hill left visible scratch marks on her arm, photos of which were noted to have been included in the partially redacted police report.

Hill told police he was sleeping when his girlfriend searched listings in his phone "and that she found out he was seeing other girls." Hill said there was "nothing physical" that took place between him and his girlfriend.

Hill has a hearing on July 23 in Issaquah Municipal Court. A trial date could be set for the following week.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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