The Ravens on Friday signed suspended former New York Giants safety Will Hill, a three-time violator of NFL drug policies.
Hill was cut by the Giants in May when he lost his appeal of a six-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. Hill claimed his positive drug test for marijuana was from inhaling second-hand smoke.
"Just being irresponsible," Hill said when asked about his history of problems with drugs. "Yeah, I feel like I've learned. I'm ready to play football. They talked to the Giants and they had nothing but good words to say about me."
When asked if he's done with marijuana, Hill replied: "Everything is behind me."
The Ravens signed Hill one day after star running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games for violating the NFL personal-conduct policy, stemming from a domestic violence incident in which he was charged with felony aggravated assault.
"Good football player, got a chance to get to know him, I like where his head's at this time right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "So, we'll see how he does."
Hill was suspended four games last season after testing positive for marijuana.
"If we need it, Will will provide depth in the middle of the season," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.
Hill said he spoke with Newsome to assure him that he's not going to continue his pattern of off-field problems.
"Yeah, basically, it was just getting comfortable with each other and letting him know that the things that happened before won't be happening here," Hill said.
Although Hill is regarded as a talented player who recorded 77 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles last season, he hasn't been able to comply with the NFL's rulebook on drug use. The Giants gave Hill multiple chances before giving up on him.
"Aggressive play," Hill said when asked about his style of play. "Aggressive and a lot of ability."
Having attributed previous positive drug tests before to inhaling second-hand smoke, Hill said he's being more careful going forward about his associations.
"People, places and things," Hill said.
Hill is eligible to practice with the Ravens and play in preseason games, but isn't eligible for reinstatement until Oct. 13.
In October 2012, Hill was suspended by the league for four games for violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy. Hill said he took Adderall.
The long-armed, 6-foot-1, 207-pound New Jersey native has been assigned the No. 48 jersey.
Hill was a high school star at St. Peter's Prep in New Jersey and played collegiately at Florida.
Entering the NFL draft, Hill drew scrutiny from NFL teams due to a series of controversial posts on his official Twitter account, including photos of scantily-clad women.
Hill went undrafted after being suspended by the Gators for testing positive for marijuana before declaring early for the draft in 2011 after his junior year.
In December last year, Hill was arrested when police said they noticed an odor of marijuana coming from his vehicle when he was pulled over. He was never formally charged.
Hill, 24, has recorded 115 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles in two NFL seasons.
"It's a blessing just to play on any team," Hill said. "I'm just taking it one day at a time."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun