In Tennessee, Chris Johnson is so angry about how much money he’s scheduled to make this season that he insists he won’t show up to work until the Titans give him a huge raise.
In Cleveland, there’s a running back who had more yards from scrimmage and more touchdowns than Johnson last year and is scheduled to make even less money than Johnson this year. But that running back, Peyton Hillis, showed up to camp and isn’t complaining about his contract.
Still, there’s increasing chatter coming out of Cleveland that a new deal for Hillis will come soon.
Although Browns GM Tom Heckert declined to comment, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, citing an unnamed league source, that the wheels have begun turning for talks about a new contract for Hillis.
Hillis changed agents this year, which is usually something a player does when he wants to get moving on a new contract. And it’s easy to see why he wants a new contract, considering he’s scheduled to earn $600,000 this season, which is the league minimum for players with four years of experience.
Asked if he wants to sign a long-term deal with the Browns, Hillis said he absolutely does.
“Most definitely. I think this team, this city, even the colors, represent who I am. As an individual, as a person and as a player,” Hillis said. “So I would love to be here as long the Browns want me here.”
But Hillis isn’t going about getting a long-term deal the same way Johnson is.
The Titans say they’re willing to make Johnson the highest-paid running back in football, but Johnson appears to want more than just that — he wants to be the highest-paid running back in football by a huge margin. Hillis isn’t making such demands, although Hillis could be viewed as just as good a long-term investment as Johnson, seeing as Hillis is a little younger than Johnson and has had about 600 fewer carries in his career than Johnson.
“Whenever’s my time, whenever the Browns feel like they want to take care of me, they will,” he said. “I’m going to do my best, try to prove myself to them. This is a business and you still have to produce every day, every year. That’s going to be my outlook from here on out.”