On Thursday, a report emerged that Browns running back Peyton Hillis contemplated retirement near the end of the 2011 season, and that he wanted to join the CIA.
On Friday, Hillis denied it.
Hillis tells Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the report is “100 percent false” and that it “makes me sound insane.”
Something that sounds far less insane is his belief that the story was planted to harm his value on the free-agent market. Something that sounds incredibly naive is that he says he has no idea who would do that.
The suspicions should start with the Browns, especially since the report from Adam Schefter of ESPN indicates that Hillis shared his plans with Browns coaches.
Then again, Hillis has every reason to claim that the report is false in the hopes of salvaging his value. Boosting his value, at least in Cleveland, is his stated willingness to give the team a “hometown discount.”
With the Browns using the franchise tag on kicker Phil Dawson, Hillis will become a free agent on March 13 unless he signs a new deal.