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Peyton Hillis takes quiet approach to contract talks

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

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.”

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50 Responses to “Peyton Hillis takes quiet approach to contract talks”
  1. olikneves says: Aug 31, 2011 9:18 AM

    It’s refreshing to see a professional play out his signed contract without whining about it.

  2. jgpike says: Aug 31, 2011 9:20 AM

    This guy is PERFECT for Cleveland….blue collar, great work ethic, the world doesn’t revolve around him. To say the ‘colors’ are him just endears him to the faithful like nothing else. They need to sign him up long term asap.

    Go Browns

  3. Matt Revel says: Aug 31, 2011 9:22 AM

    You can’t help but root for this guy. He’s the definition of humble and seems to be one of the few stars in the league that realize playing in the NFL is a privilege.

  4. tehowdruid says: Aug 31, 2011 9:26 AM

    Peyton Hillis is a classy guy. He never pouts about what he can’t control, he just goes about what he can. He’s a hard worker, he’s committed to being great and he knows that the Browns will take care of him.

    He’s a rare throwback type player who plays through injuries and is a complete professional. To be honest, all this guy wants to do is worship god and play football, money is just the icing on the cake for him. You don’t find many guys like him and I’m glad he’s on my team.

  5. jeriousnorwood says: Aug 31, 2011 9:27 AM

    It’s refreshing? The guy doesn’t have the same leverage as Johnson, pure and simple.

  6. denardsbig10inchdong says: Aug 31, 2011 9:29 AM

    Darren McFadden
    Peyton Hillis
    Felix Jones…

    all razorbacks who came out in the same draft class…who’s better? present, and future

  7. elenawatson says: Aug 31, 2011 9:34 AM

    You can’t help but root for this guy. He’s the definition of humble and seems to be one of the few stars in the league that realize playing in the NFL is a privilege.

  8. furious76 says: Aug 31, 2011 9:37 AM

    From a Bronco Fan:

    Dear Josh McD…… I HATE YOU.

    Hillis is a future star and so many in Bronco nation could see it. I am happy that Hillis is somewhere he wants to be and allowed to use his talents.

    Wish Hillis was still a Bronco.

  9. all7evens says: Aug 31, 2011 9:43 AM

    He made league minimum for 4 year players, dude can’t afford to holdout hewas a non-factor up until last year.
    Besides he’s seen Hardesty in action just like everyone else, he should not expect more than a few shekels.

  10. ernestbynershands says: Aug 31, 2011 9:49 AM

    I like the way this young man honors his commitments.
    Signed,
    Mike Brown

  11. Matt Revel says: Aug 31, 2011 9:51 AM

    I agree with elenawatson. >_>

  12. vahawker says: Aug 31, 2011 9:58 AM

    The team colors are poop brown.

    Like this guy, such a stark contrast to all the greedy divas, trouble makers, and outright losers playing today. A class act, something The Grill wouldn’t have a clue about.

  13. udontknowjaq says: Aug 31, 2011 9:59 AM

    He’s only had one good year and he fell off at the end of it. He knows not too even think of holding out, he has no leverage. Hillis is alright but CJ is one of the top playmakers in the NFL and has proven it over the years, not maybe a 1 hit wonder. Hillis has to do more then he should get a contract, thats if he can do just bout the same as last year. CJ was doin it when Hillis was fighting for a roster spot

  14. CKL says: Aug 31, 2011 10:16 AM

    udontknowjack, Vick’s performance declined towards the end of last year and it was HIS only truly decent year as a QB also. Are you whining about HIS new deal too?

    Hillis is one of those guys you root for and are happy for their success even if he isn’t on your team (even if he runs over it for 200 yds like he did to my team last year).

  15. hooptie says: Aug 31, 2011 10:25 AM

    Glad I’m not a Titans fan having to explain to my kids why CJ isn’t playing. Respect Hillis for his approach and attitude, he’ll get paid.

  16. udontknowjaq says: Aug 31, 2011 10:29 AM

    @CKL says:

    Im a Steelers fan and I dont even have a memory of him playing but he does seem like a good caracter guy, but it seems like he got alot of hype and i wonder why? I also dont understand why alot of people dont like CJ right now, He’s a Rb and if he’s trying to get the most money for his talents and owners cut guys who dont perform what makes him so bad. Hillis is doing what he’s supposed to do and he’s getting praise here.

  17. davidjcu says: Aug 31, 2011 10:36 AM

    CJ has more than deserved his contract. He joined the 2000yd club his 2nd season in the league. Yes there a lot of serviceable runningbacks in the league, but he is elite. The Titans forget they aren’t a team that can win with a serviceable runningback. If you have a great QB and decent receivers, yeah a serviceable runningback is fine. CJ is by far the best player on that team. CJ might be a diva, but there are tons of them. He hasn’t done anything wrong off the field. Class Acts don’t win games just ask Tebow.

  18. tiffpats4eva says: Aug 31, 2011 10:40 AM

    He’s got a high motor.

  19. dallasisgoingdowngary says: Aug 31, 2011 10:47 AM

    If he goes down early in the season, and is never again the back he was last year, he’ll stop being such a company guy…

  20. pftwstbshmc says: Aug 31, 2011 10:55 AM

    Hillis is someone I wish my team had (like any other football fan not routing for Cleveland). Guy has a lot of class in the way he handles himself on and off the field – a rare find in the NFL today.
    CJ is a tool. He is a great athlete, but a greedy “it’s all about me” tool. Give him a really good contract, not a great one. It’s all he deserves. Players who mouth off like this don’t deserve to be the highest paid.

  21. smackingfools says: Aug 31, 2011 11:18 AM

    A good ole Arkansas boy.

  22. football58 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:20 AM

    Hillis led all running back in fumbles last year. You turn the ball over you lose! Cleveland did not improve 1 game from the year before with Hillis. Anyone can run behind Joe Thomas and Mack.
    He is not even in the same stratosphere as Chris Johnson.

    singned

    Jerome Harrison

  23. mrfrostyj says: Aug 31, 2011 11:24 AM

    1st. Hillis is only a 1 season wonder because apparently Eric Mangini is the only person outside of Denver who paid attention to the Broncos and that includes Josh McDaniels himself.

    2nd. As much as it is humbling and great to say how we like the guy because of all these moralistic reasons, in reality it’s because every highlight of the guy is him either jumping over someone or running them over like a freight train. 99% of running backs in the league are all about making defenders miss. This guy plays like he’s the Juggernaught from X-men.

  24. tiffpats4eva says: Aug 31, 2011 11:28 AM

    Dallasisgoingdowngary,

    I could not agree with you more. Good running backs can’t afford to be company men. Running backs have a very short window of time to make the most money.

  25. sterilizecromartie says: Aug 31, 2011 11:30 AM

    Nice to see that attitude from Hillis. But frankly, he had one good season. CJ has been doing it and doing it well for 3 years, including the incredible 2009 season. You can’t really compare the two in that aspect.

  26. nmking26 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:32 AM

    Are you seriously comparing Hillis to CJ? Hillis is a good back but he is no Chris Johnson.

  27. bensstinkyfingers says: Aug 31, 2011 11:41 AM

    With an attitude like that and the performance to go with it, he deserves to be one of the highest paid RB’s in the league. He is a coach’s and fan’s ideal player. gives 100%, is humble, and “gets it”. I’d take Hillis over any RB in the league. Hopefully the Browns lock him up long term just like they did with Joe Thomas. I am really looking forward to watching Hillis steamroll Polamolu and the rest of the AFC North opponets like he did last year. Go Browns!

  28. digitaldonnie says: Aug 31, 2011 11:49 AM

    Yeah you can’t compare Hillis to Johnson. Last year was basically Hillis’ rookie year. He did that in a horrible offensive scheme. He had no back up so at the end of the year he was beat up. Mangini new he wasn’t coming back sp he rode him like a horse. So no…right now you can’t compare the two, but after he does the same if not better in a better offense, all you haters will realize what a stud he is.
    p.s Pittsburgh sucks

  29. pigskinswag says: Aug 31, 2011 11:54 AM

    Let’s hope the Madden Curse doesn’t affect him.

  30. tobiathan says: Aug 31, 2011 12:04 PM

    Chris Johnson was handed the starting role on a silver platter.

    Hillis has had to work ten times harder just to even be ALLOWED to run the ball. Denver insisted he be a FB until they ran out of RBs, and promptly benched him the next year despite his performing at a high level. Why is that, I wonder?

    Funny how bigotry has come full circle from punishing black players to punishing white ones.

  31. shanahanagans says: Aug 31, 2011 12:10 PM

    Sure do miss this classy pro in the mile high city, thanks mcD.

  32. dezertdawg says: Aug 31, 2011 12:21 PM

    I doubt if even Peyton Hillis fans would try to make the argument that he is on the same level as CJ2K. The difference is Hillis is plugging away at $555K and CJ2K is holding his breath til he turns purple cause the Titans are only offering about $12M/yr.
    You can’t compare either their accomplishments or their contracts.

  33. tiffpats4eva says: Aug 31, 2011 12:25 PM

    tobiathan says: Aug 31, 2011 12:04 PM
    Chris Johnson was handed the starting role on a silver platter.
    ************

    If Chris Johnson wasn’t talented, he wouldn’t have a starting job. No NFL player is handed anything.

  34. friendlylittletrees says: Aug 31, 2011 12:37 PM

    Total Class… Pure and simple.

  35. jmet11 says: Aug 31, 2011 12:41 PM

    Absolutely a class act. Playing for what you signed on to play for? What an idea!

  36. shaggytoodle says: Aug 31, 2011 12:48 PM

    Smart move to get the contract done quick, in case the curse strikes.

  37. CKL says: Aug 31, 2011 1:03 PM

    udontknowjaq says: Aug 31, 2011 10:29 AM

    @CKL says:

    Im a Steelers fan and I dont even have a memory of him playing
    _______________________________________
    Of course you don’t..because no one can run vs Pitt. Any RB who does do that, you would probably recall. :)

  38. udontknowjaq says: Aug 31, 2011 1:03 PM

    1 good year and Browns fans think he’s a top 10 Rb in the NFL. This guy has the nerve to compare a rb who’s put up numbers better than sum greats ,too a 1 hit wonder! 1 good year from Colt & Browns fans will be saying give him Vick money! Haha Clowns! Browns suck and I love they are the doormats of the afc north & look decades away from even goin to there 1st SB! Again Browns suck

  39. tundey says: Aug 31, 2011 1:45 PM

    While I like Peyton’s approach and prefer it as a fan, I can’t in all honesty be mad at CJ. When it comes to contracts in the NFL, it’s dog-eat-dog. Teams do it all the time. Some teams will ask the player to reduce his salary (see Ryan Grant & GB Packers); some teams will simply cut the player (see Andre Gurode and the Cowboys). And some teams will have the player lower his salary and then cut him afterwards.

  40. lbcoach34 says: Aug 31, 2011 1:56 PM

    Hillis is grossly underpaid in comparison to really any other RB except maybe Arian Foster – but both guys are quietly producing on the football field and hopefully they’ll get taken care of…it’s not a position of longevity – in fact it’s the opposite – so I don’t blame these guys (RBs) to hold-out – like LT said a coupe years ago – each game is like getting into a major car accident and surviving the impact.

    Look what happens to these guys after a few good years…LT, Clinton Portis, Brian Westbrook – I could go on and on

  41. feartheelf19 says: Aug 31, 2011 1:59 PM

    Peyton Hillis and Chris Johnson are 2 different runners, but Peyton Hillis is a class act. Chris Johnson is a great athlete but what does he do for the community and his city? You do not see Chris Johnson out there helping the community and attempting to work through his contract.

    And Peyton Hillis will get paid in due time, he is working through his contract. That is how all athletes should work. They get paid a heck of a lot more than the average working American, and that is their choice to go out there and take the beating that is handed down by defensive players. So I applaud him and all the other athletes and go out there, play hard and keep their mouths shut, just the way they should.

    Go Browns!!

  42. dawglbfan says: Aug 31, 2011 2:03 PM

    Yeah you don’t know jack…you prolly are a steelers fan and live in Toledo. You fools can’t respect players and a franchise who try to do things right. I’d like to see CJ’s frail little body hold up against a AFC north schedule.

  43. henrykissingerisgod says: Aug 31, 2011 2:06 PM

    bensstinkyfingers

    game 1 28-10
    12 attempts 41 yards
    6 catches 49 yards
    0 tds

    game 2 41-9
    6 attempts 13 yards
    1 catch 3 yards
    o tds

    ya he really made the steelers pay last year

  44. rubicon202 says: Aug 31, 2011 2:10 PM

    Yeah…nothing against CJ but I definitely like this approach, much more classy…

  45. blackqbwhiterb says: Aug 31, 2011 2:32 PM

    Time will tell, but I love his style of running that ball

  46. hillis40 says: Aug 31, 2011 2:57 PM

    To all you haters quit being jealous! Hillis has more class then CJ will ever have. And to the pittsburg fans talking smack! You are the least classiest fans!! I know you have kicked our asses for years but your time is coming.

  47. jweev says: Sep 1, 2011 12:06 AM

    udontknowjaq is a proper name…CJ had one great year and two good ones, and like the article said, Hillis outgained him in total yards this past year. Hillis had more receptions in 2010 than CJ did in any season. CJ is the more proven back, but stop acting like they are galaxies apart.

    You and your chubby sex predator qb enjoy your last year or two on top of the North, Hillis and crew are about to be on your heels son. Won’t read your reply, waste of time, bye bye.

  48. cooz77 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:07 AM

    Im surprised Steeler fan has an internet connection in their trailer park.

  49. hillis40 says: Sep 1, 2011 7:53 AM

    A steelers fan that didn’t remember playing him.
    You need a brain to remember things. So we forgive you

  50. kingtrukr says: Sep 2, 2011 1:54 PM

    Hillis won’t be a poor man only making 600K a year for long. The Browns FO has seen the light and a deal will be done before the half way point of the season. Hillis will get paid without all of the media posturing like with the CJ’s of the world. Amazingly, I haven’t even heard a single comment from Hillis regarding fantasy football. Maybe he likes and wants to keep all of his fans no matter their reason for following him.

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