|National Football League|
AP source: Jets agree to 4-year deal with WR Hill
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
NEW YORK (AP) The Jets quickly got their speedy new wide receiver under contract.
A person familiar with the deal said Thursday night that New York and second-round draft pick Stephen Hill agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth just under $5 million.
The Jets traded with the Seattle Seahawks to move up four spots - to No. 43 - and took the former Georgia Tech wide receiver. The first two years of the deal are fully guaranteed with a total of just over $2.9 million in total guarantees, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced by the team.
The Star-Ledger of Newark first reported the deal.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Hill had 28 catches for 820 yards - averaging more than 29 yards a catch - and five touchdowns last season for the Yellow Jackets while playing in a triple-option offense. Despite Hill's low number of receptions, the Jets traded their second-round pick - No. 47 - along with a fifth- and a seventh-rounder to the Seahawks to make sure they got him.
Hill is expected to step in and start opposite Santonio Holmes, giving Mark Sanchez a fast target with size. Joey Clinkscales, the Jets' vice president of college scouting, loosely compared Hill to Detroit's Calvin Johnson because of his combination of height, weight and speed.
"As far as the learning curve goes with Stephen, I think the biggest thing is going to be the amount of coverages that he sees and those type of things and how fast he can pick up our verbiage here because that will be different for him," offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said during a conference call Thursday before news of the signing. "But the good news is we spent a good amount of time with this player and doing our homework in the draft process, and obviously through the combine, and our scouts did a tremendous job looking at him and then we brought him in."
Hill certainly has big-play ability, something the Jets sorely need. He had 49 career catches in three seasons at Georgia Tech, but set the NCAA record by averaging 55.2 yards on his nine touchdown grabs. Hill also averaged 64 yards on his five TD catches last season, topping the single-season NCAA mark of 56.09 yards by Houston's Elmo Wright in 1968.
"They're expecting a lot of things out of me," Hill said the day after he was drafted. "I'm going to come out here Day 1 and just play and gradually get myself to being a great player."
Updated May 3, 2012