The Browns have had enough of Peyton Hillis.
That’s the latest report in this bizarre saga, courtesy of Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cabot says that the Browns are prepared to let Hillis leave via free agency when his contract expires after the 2011 season.
“It’s one thing after another, and what’s been out there isn’t even the half of it,” an unnamed source told Cabot.
Quarterback Seneca Wallace confirmed to Cabot the recent report from Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports that players have grown weary of Hillis’ antics. Among other things, his decision to try to throw footballs off the crossbar prior to the game against the 49ers rubbed other players the wrong way. “Yes, it did get on some people’s nerves that he was throwing balls when he was injured,” Wallace said. “But at the end of the day, it’s his last name on the back of his jersey, and he has to decide how he wants to represent himself.”
Wallace also confirmed that players were miffed that Hillis abruptly went to Arkansas to get married instead of receiving treatment on his hamstring. “Of course we’re going to be a little upset if Peyton’s not in there getting his treatment,” Wallace said. “We’re a team, and we rely on each other. But if he felt he wanted to go get married that day, that’s his business. You never really know what a person is going through. You don’t know what type of influences a person might have. I don’t know the stuff that Peyton has going on in his life.”
Previously, the Browns seemed to be prepared to let Hillis test the market in free agency, with the goal of letting him see that a single season of 1,177 yards rushing and the presence of his face on the cover of the Madden video game doesn’t equate to $20 million in guaranteed money. But if the Browns had been willing to sign him once he realized that veteran running backs who aren’t among the very best in the business don’t get big contracts, the Browns apparently aren’t now.
The next question becomes whether the Browns will decide to let him test the market in 2011, by cutting him.