According to NFL.com, Hill is likely going to return to the team in time for training camp, but that’s only if there are no further developments in his case.
Johnson County district attorney Steve Howe, the DA in charge of the Hill case, told the Kansas City Star on Friday that the investigation into Hill isn’t currently active and that it won’t be reopened unless some new evidence comes to light.
“It is not an active investigation,” Howe said. “As in any case, if we receive additional evidence we re-evaluate.”
Howe originally announced that the investigation case might be reopened., but one day after that announcement, a was released, which led to some speculation that the
According to Hill’s attorney Trey Pettlon that never happened, and the investigation has been inactive since Howe’s original press conference on April 24.
“It’s my understanding the criminal investigation has been closed for quite some time now and obviously there’s been some misinformation about that, but it is closed,” Pettlon said to the Kansas City Star.
Although Hill’s currently off the hook from a legal standpoint, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s in the clear just yet. If the Chiefs do reinstate their star receiver and allow him to attend training camp, he’ll still have at least two issues hanging over his head.
For one, Child Protection Services (the Kansas Department for Children and Families) is still investigating the case to make sure that Hill’s 3-year-old son is safe. Not helping Hill’s case is the fact that the DA believes that a crime occurred. According to Howe, the reason there weren’t any charges filed is because authorities simply don’t know who committed the crime: Hill or his fiancee, Crystal Espinal.
Also, Hill could still face punishment from the NFL. The league has been investigating the case for nearly two months and that investigation is ongoing. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was actually asked about the situation at the NFL spring meeting in May, and according to him, the league is going to move forward with its investigation as soon as they get the OK from Child Protection Services
“There is a court proceeding still going on involving CPS, Child Protection Services, and we will not interfere with that,” Goodell said at the time. “The priority is this young child and so we will obviously be cooperative with whatever the court wants there. We are prepared to go ahead and have an interview whenever we have the permission to.”
If the NFL wanted to keep Hill on the sideline until the league’s investigation is complete, Goodell could place him on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would keep him out of training camp until the league made a final decision on his playing status. On the other hand, if the NFL completes its investigation before training camp and decides to punish Hill, the Chiefs receiver would likely be allowed to participate in training camp and all preseason games, with his suspension kicking in once the regular season starts.
If no punishment is handed out, then Hill would be allowed to attend team activities as soon he’s invited back by the Chiefs. Hill has been banned from all team activities since April 25, when the audio recording originally leaked.