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Situation between Browns, Hillis keeps getting weirder

Mike Holmgen AP

Some so-called experts in the media assume that the Browns and running back Peyton Hillis will find a middle ground and agree to terms on a long-term deal that will keep the Madden cover boy in an orange helmet for years to come.

Those so-called experts need to be paying closer attention to the bizarre dynamics that have been playing out between the team and Hillis.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, updating her item from Thursday regarding the status of the negotiations, reports that the Browns are willing to let Hillis leave via free agency.  In other words, the Browns don’t think he’s worth the one-year franchise tender for free agents.  And they don’t think that another team would trade for him after the attachment of the franchise tag.

It may simply be a short-term ploy aimed at getting Hillis, who some think wants DeAngelo Williams money, to get more realistic.  Or perhaps the Browns have decided to use Hillis up this year and move on to Montario Hardesty.

If that’s the case, then why didn’t the Browns try to trade Hillis?  Team president Mike Holmgren claims that the Browns wouldn’t have traded one of their best players.  If that’s the truth, then the Browns should be willing to apply the franchise tag to keep him around in 2012.  (Of course, the truth may be no one called to inquire about trading for Hillis, even though the tea leaves made it damn clear that he would have been available.)

Either way, the situation between the team and the player is getting worse, not better.  And perhaps he’ll only return to the Browns next year after hitting the open market and realizing that no one else will pay him more than the Browns are offering.  It’s possible that no other team would pay him as much as the Browns are offering.  The Browns apparently have decided that, until Hillis is force fed a little humble pie, he won’t be willing to sign for what the team thinks he’s actually worth.

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46 Responses to “Situation between Browns, Hillis keeps getting weirder”
  1. edmazeing1 says: Oct 21, 2011 8:49 AM

    Thank God mcfadden was not on the cover, u should know what I mean!!

  2. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Oct 21, 2011 8:53 AM

    And the madden curse lives on!!

  3. gmen1987 says: Oct 21, 2011 8:54 AM

    This puts a new dimension on the Madden Curse. The curse now makes the cover boy’s ego swell so badly that he overestimates his value and the value of his position that both he and his team will suck on the field.

    The Madden curse doesn’t necessarily mean an injury fill happen anymore. It now makes the player on the cover look like a total tool.

  4. sterilizecromartie says: Oct 21, 2011 8:55 AM

    Well, of course, the way he is playing he isn’t worth of a franchise tag. If he churns out 1000 yards and 10 TDs from this point on maybe they will change their mind.

    It’s too early to start speculating who any team will or will not let walk in free agency.

  5. scudbot says: Oct 21, 2011 8:58 AM

    The Madden Curse strikes in mysterious ways.

  6. richm2256 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:04 AM

    The best pressure Hillis can put on Holmgren for a new deal is to run the daylights out of the ball, to the point where they can’t imagine this team without him.

    Instead, he’s making it look like he’s holding back intentionally, and producing a weak-a$$ season, like he’s washed up. Who’d want THAT guy?

    Who’s the moron giving this guy advice?

  7. football58 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:04 AM

    Get a clue Hillis, you’re not that good. In your “breakout” year, you led all running back in fumbles. Why would the Browns or any team for that matter want to pay this guy big money. The way he is playing this year is what he actually is. A backup at best. He will be out of the league in a few years.

  8. waxthat says: Oct 21, 2011 9:08 AM

    word..that’s weird

  9. vbsuitedace says: Oct 21, 2011 9:10 AM

    I tend to believe it’s the greed of his agent that is fueling this controversy. Hillis doesnt strike me as the money grubbing type and i doubt he has much to do with the negotiations. As his fantasy owner it is MADDENing (pun intended har har har) to watch this play out. He hasn’t done anything yet this year! Its hurting his chances of getting paid for sure. Hardesty has not exactly been stellar either, kid needs to step up and show the team something esp in pass protection because as of right now the Browns need Hillis to play. Montario isnt getting it done.

  10. jgo304 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:10 AM

    Big Prop’s to EA for choosing Hillis over ARod.

    Sincerely the Packer Nation.

  11. seabreezes51 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:11 AM

    Good thing I picked up Ryan Matthews for my fantasy team
    Hillis was a worthless 3 rd pick

  12. wryly1 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:11 AM

    There really isn’t any deep mystery or drama here. Hillis hasn’t been anywhere near 100% healthy in about 11 months – and still isn’t! Because of that he wasn’t able todo much the last 4 games of 201o season, or so far this season. Heck, he wasn’t even healthy coming into training camp and has struggled since. Can’t blame the Browns for not being willing to break the bank under those circumstances.

  13. j0esixpack says: Oct 21, 2011 9:17 AM

    I’m with Holmgren here.

    Dude wants big money?

    Earn it.

    Starting Sunday.

  14. civilwarfish says: Oct 21, 2011 9:18 AM

    Why wont this die? Holmgren never said they were willing to let him go in Free Agency, only that if he wanted to test the free agency waters then so be it, but that the Browns would be right in there fighting to keep him in Brown and Orange. Big difference. He said they did not ever intend to trade him nor do they want to. They will not likely use the franchise tag because the amount they would have to pay him is above what they feel his worth is. If you are gonna pay him that much then just pay him nd be done with it.

    I personally think we have a greedy agent (arent they all) who sees a big payday for his guy and therefore himself. I think the Browns see a player who did great things last season and garners unexpected accolades but hasnt repeated these feats at least as of yet. I think they are willing to pay him bery good money to stay…and Hillis has repeatedly stated that he wants to retire here.

    The Media here and nationally has tried to stir up as much discord as possible in the Browns clubhouse and fanbase for a long while and it is reaching absurd proportions. Non-issues are blown out of proportion on a routine basis. Mary Kay Cabot reports that the Browns are willing to let Hillis go. That is almost the exact opposite of the message Holmgren delivered yesterday…and he also told the media that their efforts to twist and create news that is false and untrue is hurting the team in the clubhouse and on the feild. No report about that…not one word. Nothing. You would not know it happened if you didnt read Holmgren’s words or commentary based on it.

    Time for the sensationalists to back off before they do more damage to a team fighting hard to turn itself around.

    GO BROWNS!

  15. ifyouthinkofgarbagethinkofakeem says: Oct 21, 2011 9:20 AM

    Welcome to the DAWG House.

  16. obamablowz says: Oct 21, 2011 9:22 AM

    Another one year wonder!!! LET HIM GO

  17. lbcoach34 says: Oct 21, 2011 9:25 AM

    Well, what’s at the heart of the situation is that Hillis is not as good as his agent thinks he is. Once he tests the market and realizes that , he could and should re-sign with the Browns and understand that he’s NOT a franchise RB. It happens all the time – you are what you are.

  18. Lev says: Oct 21, 2011 9:30 AM

    He’d make a great Redskin!

  19. scudbot says: Oct 21, 2011 9:41 AM

    He had contact with Josh McDaniels. McDaniels sent Hillis away so he could have a great season, but eventually the McDaniels carcinogen caught up with him. Must have gotten into his brain.

  20. camdenyard says: Oct 21, 2011 9:44 AM

    This is ClownOrg. What do you expect?

  21. hooptie says: Oct 21, 2011 9:45 AM

    My worst fear is that he will be a Steeler next year signing as a free agent.

  22. realitypolice says: Oct 21, 2011 9:53 AM

    The days of mega contracts for running backs is coming to a close.

    They were already becoming a rarity when the DeAngelo Williams deal got done.

    Now, after the “stellar” season Chris Johnson is having after getting paid, they are on life support.

    There just aren’t enough RBs who have a high enough value-over-replacement to justify long term, big money deals.

    Other than a handful of players, RBs primes are too short, they get hurt too much and are too easily replaced.

    As for Hillis specifically, he’s had one great year, fumbles too much, and has had injury issues.

    The Browns would be crazy to commit huge long term dollars to him right now.

    As for

  23. audient says: Oct 21, 2011 10:00 AM

    Let’s not forget why Hillis is on the cover of Madden. Not because of merit on the field per se, though he did bring a lot of spark to the Browns offense, and was sure exciting to watch.

    Hillis is on the cover of Madden because the cover honors was decided by an internet vote, using an NCAA-style bracket, and in the end, people could choose between Hillis and Michael Vick.

    You didn’t have to be much of a Hillis fan to vote against Vick. As a Browns fan, I was thrilled to see him on the cover. But they could have put Tim Couch with two broken legs against Vick, and Couch would have had a shot.

  24. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 21, 2011 10:01 AM

    Mangini LOVED Hillis and ran a much different, downhill style. New boss in town + Madden curse = weirdness.

  25. burm61 says: Oct 21, 2011 10:03 AM

    Hillis should be getting the ball a lot more . Shurmur gives him the ball about 15 times a game and he should be getting 25 consistently.

  26. waltdawg says: Oct 21, 2011 10:16 AM

    I dont wanna say it….But Madden Curse!!! Strikes again

  27. maryannwiththeshakyhands says: Oct 21, 2011 10:17 AM

    Once again I’ll be seeing a bunch of fans roaming around tailgating before the games next year wearing Hillis jerseys they purchased too soon. Unless you were wise enough to get a Joe Thomas jersey odds are your sporting a nice expensive jersey that reads Edwards, Quinn, Wimbley, Garcia, the list goes on and on. My favorite is William Green.

  28. nesportsfan0428 says: Oct 21, 2011 10:26 AM

    “It may simply be a short-term ploy aimed at getting Hillis, who some think wants DeAngelo Williams money, to get more realistic.”

    DeAngelo Williams shouldn’t be getting DeAngelo Williams money. Cam Newton should be getting DeAngelo Williams money

  29. beerndonuts says: Oct 21, 2011 10:28 AM

    By all accounts he’s been a good character guy for Cleveland and a bright spot in an otherwise dreary 2010 season.

    He’s also a running back, making him the most replaceable starter on offense.

    For Hillis, it shouldn’t be about breaking the bank, it should be about getting what you can before they decide to replace him with a younger, hungrier player.

  30. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 21, 2011 10:41 AM

    jgo304 says:Oct 21, 2011 9:10 AM

    Big Prop’s to EA for choosing Hillis over ARod.

    Sincerely the Packer Nation.

    ___

    Props to Packer Nation for the organized effort to get Hillis on the cover instead of ARodg. Go. Pack. Go.

  31. samoanjungle says: Oct 21, 2011 10:48 AM

    Let him go in FA.
    He would look good in Bengal Stripes!

  32. getweird4u says: Oct 21, 2011 10:49 AM

    This guy needs to realize that rb’s much more accomplished than he have struggled to get the $ they think they are worth one good year doesn’t mean you are getting a big contract at rb.Truth is in todays nfl rb’s are the most expendable guys on the team because of the short nature of their careers,and peyton being a bruiser does not help his cause.

  33. ottoriff says: Oct 21, 2011 10:54 AM

    I thought there would be a chance of Hillis being a modern day Mike Alstot but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Alstot just punished whoever was in his way.

  34. juzthadoginme says: Oct 21, 2011 10:58 AM

    Last Sunday when everyone was saying it’s time for Hillis to step up and play hard, this is the week,,,what happens, he “pulls his hamstring”OK….in the 4th q he’s back in the game for 3 plays,,what the hell is that,,clearly he’s pissed someone off..he can’t get yards or points…or money on the sidelines..clearly the Browns aren’t going to pay more money than he’s worth and right now,he’s worth squat,…he’s lucky to have a roster spot..just sign the damn contract Payton

  35. sdchicken says: Oct 21, 2011 11:20 AM

    Hillis will still get every chance to succeed. Hardesty is averaging 3 yards per carry, can’t pass protect, and can’t catch. I think he dropped 4 passes in one game 2 weeks ago. The browns want Hillis to get over his injuries and play well for them.

  36. cannonballdookie says: Oct 21, 2011 11:21 AM

    It would have been funny if he was traded and the Madden cover featured an athlete who doesn’t even play for the same team. It would be awkward to say the least.

  37. godofwine330 says: Oct 21, 2011 11:24 AM

    I am a lifelong Browns fan and called him Tommy Vardell last year and my brother said I was crazy. He is now realizing my point. This isn’t Alstott we are talking about. This is a guy who is good, but not great and I believe he is a one year wonder. He had an amazing year, and I saw him live in Cleveland against the Pats, but he hasn’t shown me or anybody else that he can do anything this year. I don’t see him nearing a thousand yards this year.

    Good luck in free agency.

  38. oldbrowndawg says: Oct 21, 2011 11:28 AM

    The real question here is when will y’all just turn loose of this? Let Hillis play and let Holmgren, Heckert, and Shurmur evaluate his performance and take appropriate contract actions. Next issue! Move on, already!

  39. dukemarc says: Oct 21, 2011 11:44 AM

    I’m starting to think Hillis was a one year wonder.

  40. bbrophy1 says: Oct 21, 2011 2:04 PM

    Why should any running back get big money with the new rookie wage scale? You can find good RB’s in any round. They are the dispoable commodity of the NFL.

  41. macatawami says: Oct 21, 2011 2:13 PM

    Tons of RBs have had one season comparable to Hillis’ last year (1177 yards, 11 TDs) and never accomplished anything again. James Allen, Reggie Cobb, Reggie Brooks, Reuben Droughns, Olandis Gary, Ron Moore, Steve Slaton, LaMont Jordan, Michael Bennett, Derrick Ward, Tatum Bell, Justin Fargas, Anthony Johnson, Kevan Barlow…

    The Browns played this situation perfectly. See if he can produce again before paying him, and if he can’t, he won’t wreck the team’s salary structure.

  42. shaggytoodle says: Oct 21, 2011 2:52 PM

    cannonballdookie says:
    Oct 21, 2011 11:21 AM
    It would have been funny if he was traded and the Madden cover featured an athlete who doesn’t even play for the same team. It would be awkward to say the least.
    ___________________

    Like if some QB retired, then unretired, came back and got traded to the Jets?

  43. bengalsown says: Oct 21, 2011 4:06 PM

    This has nothing to do with a Madden curse. This has everything to do with Hillis’ lack of talent.

    It is laughable that he was put on the cover of Madden.

  44. oldcracker says: Oct 21, 2011 4:19 PM

    Does Shurmur know how to use a running game?

  45. trickbunny says: Oct 21, 2011 7:22 PM

    samoanjungle says:
    Oct 21, 2011 10:48 AM

    Let him go in FA.
    He would look good in Bengal Stripes!
    ———————————————–
    I hate to break it to you, but *nobody* looks good in bungle stripes. Those hideous eyesores look like they were designed by a preschooler on drugs. Just sayin’.

  46. trickbunny says: Oct 21, 2011 9:56 PM

    Seriously, what is with this site? In one post I basically insult a team, rag on their uniforms, and the post wasn’t even necessarily on topic. That post sticks to the wall and is here as I write this one… Then I write a totally on-topic, non-troll post with accurate detail about the differences between Hillis this year and last year (a.k.a. a “serious” post), and that one doesn’t get published. Go figure.

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