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Hillis wants to stay with the Browns

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Getty Images

Friday’s one-liners included a reference to the fact that Browns running back Peyton Hillis believes in curses, given his struggles (self-imposed and otherwise) after landing on the cover of the Madden game.

The bigger question is whether Hillis will remain with the team in 2012, when his image surely won’t appear anywhere near the front cover, the back cover, or any other promotional materials associated with the only NFL-licensed console-based video game.

I would love to come back here,” Hillis said, via Stephanie Storm of the Akron Beacon Journal.  “I’m a Cleveland Brown at heart.  Since I’ve been here, I fell in love with the fans, the city and the people that live here.  They’ve been nothing but 100 percent supportive through everything when I talk to ’em.  It’s good to have a second family backing [you] like that.”

Whether Browns management remains a member of Peyton’s first or second or third or any family remains unknown.  Coach Pat Shurmur, while acknowledging that a 112-yard effort from Hillis against the Ravens was “the Peyton I think everybody here is used to seeing,” wouldn’t say whether the team plans to keep Hillis.

Look for Hillis to hit the open market in March, unencumbered by the franchise tag or any other restriction.  Then, the question will be whether any other team will offer him the kind of money he wants — and whether the Browns would offer anything close to what any other team may offer Hillis.

Given the veteran market at tailback, which has become the most fungible position on the field other than long snapper, holder, punter, and kicker, his best bet may be to take a one-year deal and try again in 2012 to prove that he deserves more financial security for 2013 and beyond.  And if that’s how it turns out, he can blame it on the Madden curse.

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47 Responses to “Hillis wants to stay with the Browns”
  1. marionbarber24isgod says: Dec 31, 2011 4:38 PM

    I don’t think the Browns feel the same way.

  2. beckzhere says: Dec 31, 2011 4:42 PM

    Nobody “wants” to stay in Cleveland.

  3. pkrjones says: Dec 31, 2011 4:45 PM

    Hillis’ 2011 contract paid him $600K, which he thought wasn’t nearly enough and made himself
    “unavailable” to the Browns. Why should the Browns care what Hillis wants? Go away and pretend that you’re injured in the IFL or hobble along on the sidelines of some middle school.

  4. 11wheatd says: Dec 31, 2011 4:47 PM

    Ha we all know that’s not going to happen. Shouldn’t have milked an injury, Peyton. You showed the team you cared about money over them and I’m sure they’ll struggle welcoming you back with open arms.

  5. mthoover says: Dec 31, 2011 4:52 PM

    With Thomas Jones on his last legs, Hillis would be a great compliment to a returning Jamaal Charles & Le’Ron McClain in Kansas City. He’d look like a beast in #40 for the Red & Gold.

  6. ravenmaniacisback says: Dec 31, 2011 4:52 PM

    Hillis is a beast!

  7. 4512dawg4512 says: Dec 31, 2011 4:54 PM

    The Browns have been circling the drain for over a decade and it doesn’t look to be getting any better. Big ups to Hillis for the kind words about Cleveland and the fans though

  8. commandercornpone says: Dec 31, 2011 4:57 PM

    I wouldnt say long snapper and holder are that fungible. u can plug in another rb and despite them not knowing all plays 1000%, they can still make an impact if not an improvement.

    special skills and pressure on LS and holders. and, screw it up, and i dont do that anymore. flawed LS tend to get cut, also.

  9. vincentbojackson says: Dec 31, 2011 4:58 PM

    Before the season started Hillis said the Madden curse was a bunch of BS.

    Do not taunt the Madden curse!

  10. fumblenuts says: Dec 31, 2011 4:58 PM

    Look for Snyder and the Redskins to go after him.

  11. worldwidebleater says: Dec 31, 2011 5:02 PM

    Stay with the Browns? He better worry about staying in the NFL.

  12. herlies says: Dec 31, 2011 5:10 PM

    Madden Cover or not, Hillis tried to take advantage of questionable health issues all year in order to limit risk of injury and pressure the Browns.

    In the end, it backfired and will cost Hillis what he wanted most. Madden the coach would have cut him.

  13. clamnewton says: Dec 31, 2011 5:11 PM

    What a mess this became. I don’t blame the Browns’ fans if they don’t want to deal with any more of the drama, but third-and-three looks a lot better when Hillis is in the backfield. I’d say definitely keep him- the Albino Rhino is a freaking beast!

  14. clavette says: Dec 31, 2011 5:11 PM

    reminds me a lot of brandon jacobs.

    when he wants to play hes a beast, when he doesnt hes a waste of a roster spot

  15. tfbuckfutter says: Dec 31, 2011 5:15 PM

    From the cover of Madden to being designated RB#40 in the next version.

    Whodathunkit?

  16. couchbasher says: Dec 31, 2011 5:25 PM

    good riddence- Hillis must’ve not been reading the forums about how fans feel towards him.

  17. thetooloftools says: Dec 31, 2011 5:26 PM

    Yea, well maybe if he would have signed the contract The Browns offered him instead of listening to people who were filling his head with crap about how great he was this would be a non issue.
    He can forget about The Browns overpaying to keep him.
    He had his shot at good money and blew it.

  18. java49 says: Dec 31, 2011 5:36 PM

    Do Browns fans even care? Cause I doubt anyone else does.

  19. ballsooharduniversity says: Dec 31, 2011 5:45 PM

    too bad its not his decision to make

  20. waltdawg says: Dec 31, 2011 5:51 PM

    I cannot remember a bigger stupider more of a doofus distraction than Hillis…Unless of course I dig deep and remember Haynesworth’s Skins experiment….Cut him! New England will try him next year

  21. mymanmccoy says: Dec 31, 2011 6:13 PM

    He’ll be signed again, the Browns need a beast that fits the AFC North division.

  22. jacunn2000 says: Dec 31, 2011 6:23 PM

    Hillis is Toby Gerhat .000005.

  23. transam7816 says: Dec 31, 2011 6:26 PM

    He did it to himself. Don’t blame this one on the madden curse

  24. realitypolice says: Dec 31, 2011 6:27 PM

    I have to take issue with one point in your article.

    I believe it may actually be harder to find a good long snapper that a competent running back.

  25. mcjon22 says: Dec 31, 2011 6:28 PM

    Liar, no one willingly stays in Cleveland

  26. eleventyeight says: Dec 31, 2011 6:32 PM

    Maybe he’s learned his lesson and is fully healthy and really wants to contribute now.

    Not everyone stays stupid. Some learn. I think Hillis is a good bet to perform well in 2012.

  27. andyo102 says: Dec 31, 2011 6:43 PM

    Peyton Hillis, you suck

  28. stopthehate15bowdown says: Dec 31, 2011 6:54 PM

    Welcome Back!!
    Peyton’s Place is the Mile High City. For me and a lot of Broncos fan’s the final straw with Josh McDaniels was the Hillis for Quinn trade. With both of those mistakes gone (bye-bye Brady!) we would love to have Hillis back. The situation is perfect. Fox and Tebow are going to run, run, run and with Moreno a bust we’ll need another back to spell Mcgahee. Our fullbacks a free agent so we let him go and put Hillis in backfield with tebow and willis in a spread option version of the wishbone. It would drive all the so-called experts crazy!! Just the idea of Hillis knocking linemen on their ass while Tebow shoots the hole to blow up some scared linebacker is making…. Or vice versa, Tebow could block for Hillis same difference!

  29. td40 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:02 PM

    Half the people here bashing the Browns and Hillis root for teams and running backs that are even worse. Fact.

  30. jfinn5 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:02 PM

    Then why did he quit on the Browns this season?

  31. tfbuckfutter says: Dec 31, 2011 7:17 PM

    td40 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:02 PM

    Half the people here bashing the Browns and Hillis root for teams and running backs that are even worse. Fact.

    ——————————–

    Half the people here root for one of the three teams that have a worse record than Cleveland?

    That is statistically impossible.

  32. unbiased8383 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:17 PM

    I don’t understand why we as fans relate to the owners(management) This guy over-produced on a minimum contract. He’s one of like 5 good players they have. At your job, if you were the best in your office and produced the most profits wouldn’t you hope that management would reward you with a comparable salary to what your co-workers are making? I’m not saying he handled it the right way, but wouldn’t you be frustrated? You put your ass on the line running between the tackles like this guy does. Pay him, you guys make enough. Reward the good ones.

  33. gman41 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:32 PM

    Detroit could use a power back! U are only worth the vetran’s min. though

  34. scott8nj says: Dec 31, 2011 7:47 PM

    I agree with eleventyeight – I think he is a good bet to have a productive 2012, just not with the Browns. If I am Browns management I don’t pony up the dough to keep a guy who crapped out on me like DeSean Jackson did to the Eagles. If he winds up in a good situation I think he will do well.

  35. coop16 says: Dec 31, 2011 8:03 PM

    As a longtime Browns fan, I would like to have Hillis back. He’s a good player when healthy and it’s certainly nice to have a guy on the team who actually WANTS to be there. The drama from early this season was distasteful, but if NFL fans can give convicted felons a second chance, surely they can give a second chance to a guy like Hillis, who was basically just engaging in a tug-of-war with management over his contract, and that little game of tug-of-war never got as out of hand as the one in Tennessee involving Chris Johnson.

    Now if the Browns would just make some moves to turn the team into one that DESERVES to have good players …

  36. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 31, 2011 8:30 PM

    coop16 says:Dec 31, 2011 8:03 PM

    As a longtime Browns fan, I would like to have Hillis back. He’s a good player when healthy and it’s certainly nice to have a guy on the team who actually WANTS to be there. The drama from early this season was distasteful, but if NFL fans can give convicted felons a second chance, surely they can give a second chance to a guy like Hillis, who was basically just engaging in a tug-of-war with management over his contract, and that little game of tug-of-war never got as out of hand as the one in Tennessee involving Chris Johnson.
    ——
    If he wanted to be there then why was he causing all the drama early in the season in the first place?

    Answer: He just wants to get paid. He doesn’t care where it is… Cleveland or somewhere else. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Hillis to accept less from Cleveland than another team is offering because he ‘wants to be there’. He will go to the highest bidder and won’t think twice about leaving Cleveland. Nothing against the city, but Hillis is just a greedy punk. The guy has one good season after being a third-string RB and he thinks he can demand a new contract? At least CJ earned his new contract through 3 awesome seasons.

    Your best bet as a Browns fan is to saddle up with Hardesty. You don’t want greedy cancers like Hillis on your team. Strep throat. lol.

  37. bangitfootball says: Dec 31, 2011 8:30 PM

    Supposedly Hillis and his idiot agent turned down a guaranteed 10 millon ( 20 something total) contract. Good luck matching 30% of that on the free agent market .As for the Browns Peyton I think they had enough with your drama. Good luck.

  38. richm2256 says: Dec 31, 2011 9:15 PM

    Hillis committed the Cardinal Sin of football …. he showed he can’t be counted on.

    Every team in the NFL took note of that.

  39. juststeel says: Dec 31, 2011 9:23 PM

    Would look good as a Steeler

  40. cornersportsnet says: Dec 31, 2011 9:35 PM

    He didnt quit he was banged up,and he used precaution knowing the league throws you away without a second thought next year he will be a multi millionaire regardless if he stays in cleveland or leaves .Business is business and why stay in cleveland all there backs get hurt and the team sucks every year

  41. ruggerlad says: Dec 31, 2011 10:03 PM

    Nobody questioned Matt Forte’s decision to wait until he was 100%, why is Hillis treated otherwise,
    when he outplayed Forte last season?
    I would love Hillis in Miami.
    Power backs and speedy backs are held to different standards when power backs are more likely to get hurt.

  42. 6ringsteelers says: Dec 31, 2011 10:31 PM

    juststeel says:Dec 31, 2011 9:23 PM

    Would look good as a Steeler

    ———————————————————-

    He would look good as their towel boy

  43. jeremyjojo says: Dec 31, 2011 11:12 PM

    Imagine peyton hillis as a detroit lion in 2012 now that’s scary

  44. bensstinkyfingers says: Jan 1, 2012 3:02 AM

    I hope Hillis stays, he is a good dude, and gives 110% when healthy. Too many of you sheep believe everything you hear and read on ESPN as well as the hack writers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer Etc. that constantly try to stir up controversy and use sensationalism to get their names out there and sell their product. Once one d-bag puts out a story then 10 others take it as word of god and pile on the B.S. I dont believe he ever quit on the browns, he was hurt and sick, and all you choads would’ve done the exact same in his shoes. So those of you that call yourselves browns fans get off this kids back and try to support a genuine good guy that actually wants to stay in Cleveland!

  45. mrfrostyj says: Jan 1, 2012 3:45 AM

    I’ve only heard commentators say that the Browns probably won’t sign Hillis which goes completely opposite from every interview Mike Holmgren has given this year about him. Cleveland wants the guy to earn his contract and wasn’t even going to think about signing him to one until he did. I’d be very surprised if he’s not a Brown next season. Especially if they think they might have to draft a QB high next season (which I truly hope they don’t). Their biggest issue should be getting some decent wide receivers, more offensive lineman and Pat Schurmer some coaching lessons on how not to coach your team into loosing games they would otherwise win. Just like in Kansas City under Todd Haley, the guy that should be the head coach in Cleveland is stuck in the role of Defensive coordinator.

  46. macbull says: Jan 1, 2012 7:05 AM

    Hillis will leave Cleveland for the highest bidder…simple as that.

    Hillis is saying all the right things now, attempting repair the self inflicted damage he brought on himself, over the phantom hammy injury. All this talk about how much he wants to be in Cleveland…is…baloney.

    Hillis missed the 3rd game of the season because a sore throat, after conferring with his agent. Then Hillis missed 6 games due to “the phantom hammy” injury.

    Seems contract talks between the Browns front office and Hillis agent broke down a couple weeks into the season, and suddenly, the sickness/injury bug hit Hillis.

    Hillis’ agent happens to be the same agent Shaun Rogers had when he pretty much used the same tactics when he didn’t want to play for Mangini, so the Browns front office has seen the “phantom injury” routine before.

    After news leaked out about the “intervention” Hillis’ teammates attempted in an effort to persuade Hillis the best way to insure he gets a good contract offer is to go out and show the Browns how good he is…Hillis rejected that advice.

    It was rather obvious that Hillis’ teammates were questioning how bad this “phantom hammy injury” was. The media and fans began questioning Hillis’ injury story, voicing their opinions and support for Hillis began to dwindle.

    Imo, Hillis put his contract ahead of the team and his teammates and who knows if the phantom injury bug will once again strike Hillis if he becomes unhappy with whatever team signs him?

    I’m not sure the Browns want Hillis badly enough to risk a mega contract, knowing Hillis’ character and commitment are questionable.

    …jmho…mac

  47. dawsonleery says: Jan 1, 2012 8:58 AM

    In my free agent mock I have the Raiders picking up Hillis to replace Michael Bush. Raiders will feature the Arkansas boys McFadden and Hillis next season. Should be a good 6 weeks until they are both hurt.

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