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Hill's deal gives Seahawks flexibility

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Brian McIntyre and Danny O'Neil have posted base salaries for Leroy Hill's new contract with the Seahawks. I can help fill in some blanks after hearing from people who have seen the contract, which is now on file with the NFL.

The six-year deal totals $36 million and includes no signing bonus. Hill receives $11 million in base salary over the first two years. The deal includes a $2 million option in 2010 and a $2.5 million roster bonus in 2011. Throw in the base salaries, which McIntyre and O'Neil listed, and Hill can make $36 million if he remains on the roster for all six years.

The deal counts $5 million against the salary cap in the first year, down from the $8.3 million total for the franchise tag. The deal includes escalator clauses starting in the third year, but the team could walk away after two seasons and save money under the cap. In other words, Seattle won its gamble in withdrawing the franchise tag.