Hillis perhaps should have passed on his off-day radio tour

Getty Images

The irony was obvious.  As running back Peyton Hillis tries to move past accusations that his effort to get paid by the Browns prompted him to err on the side of not playing with strep throat, Hillis chose to get paid by a product that he was promoting during a Tuesday radio tour, which exposed him to more questions about whether his decision not to play in Week Three against the Dolphins was motivated in part by the fact that the Browns have yet to sign him to a long-term deal.

Maybe he should have told his sponsor that he has strep throat.

That said, Hillis handled himself well during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.  “I really was sick,” Hillis said.  “I have no reason to lie about that.”

Fine, but the question isn’t whether the guy “really was sick.”  The question is whether, as a football player, Hillis should have played football despite the fact that he “really was sick.”  Browns center Alex Mack, for example, somehow evaded team doctors while suffering appendicitis in order to play football the following Sunday.

In a separate appearance on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio, things didn’t go quite as smoothly for Hillis.  After the Madden 12 cover athlete recited his “I was sick” mantra, host Evan Cohen asked, “So if you were making $10 million this year you would still not play in that game against Miami?”

Said Hillis:  “If, uh, that whole situation went down like that, that’s a lot of hearsay but I really couldn’t answer that question.”

Oops.

Look, we were ready to give Hillis the benefit of the doubt and move on.  We reported over the weekend that contract talks were scheduled for the Monday after the game that Hillis skipped, making it far less likely that he would have opted not to play in order to make a statement.  But in an effort to cash another check, Hillis agreed to open himself up to more questions about the situation — and to assume the risk that he’d say something that would revive the debate.

That’s precisely what happened.

38 responses to “Hillis perhaps should have passed on his off-day radio tour

  1. More distractions for Cleveland please! That’ll help ’em prepare and all be on the same page for a rabid Black Hole on Sunday.

    Excellent
    /Mr. Burns voice

  2. Madden curse, baby.

    I’m glad we all got together and voted him on the cover of Madden 12 and not ARodg. Way to go, PACK FANS!

  3. If I’m Hillis, I take note that the Browns’ front office is trying to lowball him on his contract – and that a number of Browns’ players are calling into question his heart/manhood.

    Simple solution: avail yourself to the highest bidder, because unlike with T.O. — there will be a line forming for Hillis.

    Hillis is a REAL BALLER and he has some of the best hands on the team. In short, I would love for Hillis to sign just down the I-79 in Pittsburgh, but rarely break out the fat checks except for our home-growns.

    Some lucky team will sign the beast — and Cleveland doesn’t deserve him.

  4. You can take him out the trailer but can’t take the trailer park out the boy. This guy had one good year now he’s acting like the Grey Ghost. Get to work Peyton, you’re a dime a dozen.

  5. “So if you were making $10 million this year you would still not play in that game against Miami?”

    Said Hillis: “If, uh, that whole situation went down like that, that’s a lot of hearsay but I really couldn’t answer that question.”

    That completely changed my opinion of this guy, and to be that stupid too, to come out and say it, wow.

  6. Two words for you – LaRon McLain.

    I said it in another thread yesterday and I’ll say it again… Peyton, you quit on your team for selfish reasons and have basically stamped your ticket out the door. Cleveland was the only place that was going to allow you to flourish.

    Good luck getting big fullback money out in the market. I hear there’s a high demand for them these days.

  7. Nothing wrong with what he did. Everything wrong with what he said. Just shut up and let your agent earn his money.

  8. Some may say this could be a distraction. IMO, Hillis could go off for 150 yards on the ground with 2 scores to put an end to this speculation. I’m a Browns fan and I believe it was a form of protest that surprisingly worked. That game wouldn’t of been as close as it was if you had Hardesty and Hillis in the backfield.

  9. Those comments are not the best, but you (and it seems everyone) is forgetting one major thing here: strep is contagious. Call me when you can transmit appendicitis to a teammate.

  10. Funny – less than 2 months ago, compared to Chris Johnson’s hold out, Hillis was being heralded by PFT as a working class hero. The kind of guy that packs his lunch and goes to work.

    “Whenever’s my time, whenever the Browns feel like they want to take care of me, they will,” [Hillis] 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.”

  11. I look around the league at other guys in this same situation….

    Respect to Matt Forte – his offense would go nowhere without him, and while he knows this he still suits up every Sunday.

    Respect to Desean Jackson – easily the most underpaid at 550K, yet still performs at WR and handles punt return duties without a peep…

    Hillis? Considering his style of play it makes sense that he feels this way, but strep throat? Come on man…

  12. I was impressed with Hillis after the Patriot’s game last year, but it’s clear he sat out a game as a protest, and that’s letting your teammates down, and the fans who support you.

  13. The best way to get a raise/promotion in ANY job is to do your best to perform at an extremely high level at all times, no matter what…..that’s not what I’m sensing from Mr. Hillis

  14. The truth shall set you free…

    Just tell the truth Hillis and stop making yourself look stupid.

    Here is how it went down Hillis…

    You were sick physically and sick of your contract. You and your agent talked about you not playing just to let the team see how much they need you. You went to the team docs and they examined you where they recommended you sit out…maybe you hammed it up a little too who knows. So now the team sees what it is missing without you…and you don’t risk getting injured.

    I don’t think I’m too far off base here. Just own up to it.

  15. Good player for sure, if not for this WC offense and the fact that he’s now being questioned by his teammates…….gonzo. He’ll be traded for a good WR and/or draft choice by the deadline.

  16. Strep throat can be very debilitating. You can have severe nausea and weakness. He probably wouldn’t have played well if he had played and perhaps infected his teammates. So I don’t see a problem with missing the game. Now, if I were making $10 million to play and my team wanted me to play, I’d probably tough it out because you want to feel like you’re earning your money. It doesn’t sound good for Hillis to say that, but I think most people would feel the same way.

  17. cshearing says:
    Oct 12, 2011 10:37 AM
    Those comments are not the best, but you (and it seems everyone) is forgetting one major thing here: strep is contagious. Call me when you can transmit appendicitis to a teammate.

    _________________________________

    Dude, a cold is contagious. Never seen anyone miss a game for “the sniffles”. Besides, he’s only going to spread his disease if he starts swapping spit with other players. Not likely, since he saves that for his agent.

  18. Hillis is a great running back and up to this point has been a model teammate, but if the Browns cannot come to a contract agreement with him before the trade deadline, then they need to trade him. He is unrestricted next year and it’s better to get something then nothing. I hope he stays but you have to get value regardless.

  19. Who works when they have strep. Ok Mack had appendicitis but initially he had no clue what it was, now we compare injuries. I wouldn’t want a co worker coming to work with strep and I’m sure if hillis did play and five other players got sick they would have appreciated it. He was sick move on. But his comments were dumb.

  20. I defended Mike and was censored. Do we have a reading comprehension issue here? (Rhetorical question.)

    Let me try again. yzguy431 says:
    great football story. (I believe the commenter is being sarcastic.) I said that when a star player admits he would have played despite the strep throat if he’d been making more money, of course, it’s a football story and Mike has to cover it. Get it now? 🙄

  21. paulieorkid, have to disagree with you this time.

    Yeah, I liked Hillis, but his stock has really dropped with me. He clearly doesn’t mind screwing with the team to get his way. As a star linebacker, LaMarr Woodley is worth more long-term than Peyton Hillis in today’s market, but he still kept his mouth shut and played for the league minimum last season, giving it his all. And he was rewarded with a big contract during the off season. He was patient and put the good of the team ahead of his selfish needs. Yeah, strep throat is contagious in its early stages, but Hillis admitted on that radio show he only sat out because of the contract issue. I don’t want that kind of trouble playing for the Steelers no matter how talented he is.

  22. The Browns shouldn’t resign him after this. How could you trust a player that pulls a stunt like that.
    Plus, he fumbles way too much. Not going to get a huge contract putting the ball on the ground like that.

  23. Glad everyone is finally seeing the light on Hillis. He has always been noting but hype. Why would anyone want him on their team, his performance has been below average at best.

  24. The browns arn’t cheap he just wants too much he wants Peterson money or MJD money. Which he is not worth. Why do you think he keeps changing agents. The angent goes to browns asks for crazy money. The browns counter and offer a fair amount the agent then goes back to hillis and says … this is a good deal sign he says no i want BIG TIME MONEY. and gets another agent. NO TEAM WILL SIGN HIM FOR MJD OR PETERSON MONEY. if he leaves the browns it will be for the same money they are offering now. Rumor has it he is looking for 6-7 million a year. browns are supposedly offering in the 4 range. fair money for a rb who insnt a homerun threat and fumbles.

    On that note i hope he stays for the money he is worth he is a young piece the browns need

  25. @ Deb:

    Last word came my way, Hillis had strep throat – and he didn’t have the juice to play; or if he did, he’d have hurt his team by playing.

    I’ve never heard Hillis say the strep was a manipulative pre-text, so if he said that – it’s news to me. Doesn’t sound anything like my perception of Hillis.

    Love Hillis – think he’d fit right in with the Black & Gold.

Leave a Reply