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Putting the Peyton Hillis strep throat controversy to bed

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Fueled by a report from last Sunday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter the some Browns players believe that running back Peyton Hillis‘ decision to sit out of the Week Three game against the Dolphins due to strep throat was driven by his contract status and exacerbated by his agent’s admission that he advised Hillis not to play, the question of whether Hillis staged a non-holdout holdout has become a hot topic in Cleveland.

And, as we’re learning via our network of sources, it shouldn’t be.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a meeting between Hillis’ agent and the team occurred the day after the Miami game.  And while progress still need to be made (not so much as to amount but as to structure and guarantee), there was no reason for Hillis to make any type of statement by shying away from playing.

Confirming this mindset on Friday was receiver Josh Cribbs, who said that the players aren’t questioning Hillis in any way.

So even though it became a big story (especially in Cleveland), it’s apparently a non-story.  Indeed, if the Browns had any reason to believe that Hillis didn’t play because of his contract, would team president Mike Holmgren agree to continue to have discussions on a long-term deal, at least until Hillis regains the franchise’s trust?  We don’t think so.

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23 Responses to “Putting the Peyton Hillis strep throat controversy to bed”
  1. philwauke says: Oct 8, 2011 7:37 AM

    Hmmm…. Non story. Shocking!

  2. realitypolice says: Oct 8, 2011 8:02 AM

    Indeed, if the Browns had any reason to believe that Hillis didn’t play because of his contract, would team president Mike Holmgren agree to continue to have discussions on a long-term deal, at least until Hillis regains the franchise’s trust? We don’t think so.
    ============================

    Well that’s pretty convoluted logic. GMs negotiate with players that are openly holding out all the time.

    But you’re saying Holmgren would cut off all talks because he felt a player staged a one-game hold out disguised as an illness?

    Not saying that I think Hillis did that, because I don’t at all, but the idea that it would bring negotiations to a grinding halt if he did is not really supported by the reality of how business is done in the NFL.

  3. cnieli01 says: Oct 8, 2011 8:08 AM

    In that’s case, thank you for all those wondefully written non-stories. You owe me an hour of my life back.

  4. brownsfan13 says: Oct 8, 2011 8:16 AM

    Multiple sources at ESPN tell me that Adam Schefter’s colleagues consider him a moron who often confuses a colon with a semi-colon. Developing.

  5. sguy2130 says: Oct 8, 2011 8:19 AM

    Glad you guys are finally seeing the light, and I give you some credit for addressing that this was mostly a fabricated story by the media. After this entire BS storm, I have lost some respect for Adam Shefter (who is also a Broncos fan, who likely misses Hillis…read between the lines on that one).

    I will buy into that there is some tension with the contract situation, but I don’t think it has affected Peyton’s effort on the field. Hopefully they get a fair deal done and Shurmur learns to best use Hillis and Hardesty.

  6. jetsmetsfan says: Oct 8, 2011 8:23 AM

    Trade him…I got Hardesty on my Fantasy Team…

  7. joj0420 says: Oct 8, 2011 8:28 AM

    so what who cares, i wouldnt have played either guess no one understands the severity of a strep throat.

  8. GG Eden says: Oct 8, 2011 9:00 AM

    Expect a PFT article (quoting another source) spinning the story the other way sometime soon. To keep the “is it a non-story or a story” dynamic going. :)

  9. camdenyard says: Oct 8, 2011 9:11 AM

    Typical clownfans. Paranoid to the max.

  10. bbb82 says: Oct 8, 2011 9:59 AM

    The only two people in Cleveland who thought this was a big story were Tony Grossi and Mary Kay Cabbot.

  11. CKL says: Oct 8, 2011 10:00 AM

    I can’t imagine a bigger ANTI diva than Hillis. I love to watch that guy run. Also, Cribbs is a great teammate. I’ve never heard him do anything that back his guys.

  12. CKL says: Oct 8, 2011 10:01 AM

    *BUT* back his guys…oops!

  13. kingsransom81 says: Oct 8, 2011 10:18 AM

    Peyton Hillis needs to take this window of opportunity and get payed, asap. Cleveland is a cursed city and it’s stars don’t last.

    See: LeBron James

  14. axespray says: Oct 8, 2011 10:23 AM

    dude was on the cover of Madden….
    If I were him, I’d avoid anything physical/sharp/scary/fast/slippery/ladders/etc.

  15. seasonofdreams says: Oct 8, 2011 10:34 AM

    This story has been blown out of proportion by the Cleveland media, especially Mary Kay Cabot. Hillis was at the stadium the morning of the game, and was sent home because he was too sick. This whole ‘he sat out because of his contract’ thing is ridiculous.

    Just move on and start calling out players that show up, don’t do anything, and collect their paychecks … *cough Brian Robiskie *cough

  16. marjax says: Oct 8, 2011 10:54 AM

    Hopefully this is all cleared up now. I think anyone with half a brain had enough common sense to doubt the validity of these stupid claims.

    Sure, it sounds reasonable that a starting caliber player at a flashy position wouldn’t want to play with a sickness for a relatively low salary. But anyone who has seen or heard Hillis give an interview should have know that’s not who he is. I guess the Madden exposure can work against you, because you’re a household name and halfwit journalists will run with a crappy story because they don’t know any better.

    I agree, I’m a little disappointed in Schefter for pushing this story like he did. He lost some points from that in my book. I’m gonna push some blame on this site too. You guys prolonged the story by quoting a source that simply said his agent told him not to play.

    No attempt was made to further clarify when his agent came out and said this: “I would give him the same advice to him or any of my clients as if he were my son,” McGuire said in a phone interview. “The game is physical enough, and the way Peyton plays the game, he needs all the elements of his physical game. Him being sick, and the level of his sickness, is the equivalent of being injured. Not only could he have hurt himself but he could have hurt his team. Nobody embodies Cleveland like Peyton Hillis. If anyone wants to point a finger, point it at me.”

    That certainly doesn’t sound like advice from an agent trying to get bargaining leverage in contract talks.

  17. baxman89 says: Oct 8, 2011 10:59 AM

    So you’re telling us what we already knew, and only a few questioned because of what you typed?

  18. td40 says: Oct 8, 2011 11:39 AM

    So… the point of the story is that “journalists” (I use the term very loosely) are idiots who make things up (Adam Schefter) and then run wild with them (Mary Kay Cabot and Tony Grossi.)

    Well, that’s the point *I’m* taking from it, at least.

  19. eleventyeight says: Oct 8, 2011 12:25 PM

    Strep throat isn’t some joke…not at all like saying “a sore throat”.

    Strep throat, left untreated, can have deadly implications.

    So yeah: no story.

  20. sportsmediacritic says: Oct 8, 2011 2:16 PM

    All this talk for an average running back on a bad team….

  21. houstonsimpleton says: Oct 8, 2011 3:08 PM

    Here’s the story.

    Which you don’t see anywhere here, there, or on the internet, because outside of Cleveland, the people who choose what it is said here, there, and on the internet, love them some Hillis.

    One NFL player refused to be benched with broken ribs.
    Peyton Hillis refused to play with strep throat.

    Those are the facts, forever. And they’re juxtaposed, forever.

    And outside of Cleveland, they’re the only thing that’s germaine.

  22. football58 says: Oct 8, 2011 10:11 PM

    Another Hillis story, another bunch of idiots making excuses for him. td40-probably walking around in his Hillis underwear.

  23. td40 says: Oct 10, 2011 12:39 PM

    football58 says:
    Oct 8, 2011 10:11 PM

    Another Hillis story, another bunch of idiots making excuses for him. td40-probably walking around in his Hillis underwear.
    ———————————————–
    You’re the one with greased up bodybuilder pics on your bedroom walls, not me. Pretty much all anyone needs to know.

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