When the Seahawks un-tagged Leroy Hill late last night, there may have been a longer term thinking involved and I have a few theories.
There's no doubt the Seahawks are weaker without Leroy Hill on defense. They've also spent a considerable amount of money and effort rebuilding a linebacker group that wasn't considered a problem area this off season. However, if they thought a long term deal was unlikely with Hill or if his recent problems with the law had put them off making a substantial investment - the franchise tag could have been used as insurance. If they weren't able to draft Curry, they review the situation with Hill. If they get Curry - they get a replacement on the field and can release Hill and gain a compensatory pick in 2010 (possible third rounder).
Is it purely coincidental that the Seahawks traded their 2010 pick in the trade to get Deon Butler? If they felt confident of getting that pick back by releasing Hill as soon as possible, they might have felt confident trading up today.
It was revealed the team tried to sign Hill to a 6-year $36m deal before offering the franchise tag. If negotiations had sufficiently soured since then, changing the Seahawks opinions on Hill, the act of un-tagging one of Seattle's best defensive talents may have been more calculated than first thought. He may still re-sign with the team, but the likelihood is Hill's career is over in Seattle.