Blog Entry

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

Posted on: November 5, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 1:58 pm
Peyton Hillis at the Madden 12 photo shoot during the offseason. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For a guy who has only played four games this season, Browns running back Peyton Hillis sure is in the news a lot. Whether it's a nagging hamstring injury, whinging about a new contract or no-showing at a Boys and Girls Club Halloween event, Hillis' 2011 season has a series of off-field missteps.

This comes a year after Hillis was one of the league's best running backs, rushing for 1,177 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns. Things were going so well that he landed the Madden 12 cover this offseason, and as recently as two weeks ago, the Browns front office sounded like it had every intention of re-signing the centerpiece of their offense.

Here's team president Mike Holmgren on October 20: “There was no way I was going to trade Peyton Hillis.”

On Saturday, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer Mary Kay Cabot writes that, according to NFL sources, the Browns are at the end of their rope with Hillis and are prepared to let him hit the bricks after the season.

"It's one thing after another, and what's been out there isn't even the half of it," one source said.

And that's not hyperbole. It really has been a nonstop comedy of errors for Hillis this season. Friday, we wrote that his teammates held a sit-down with the running back (via's Michael Silver).

The peculiar saga of Peyton Hillis
"By Wednesday, a group of about eight Browns veterans had summoned Hillis into a meeting room for an intervention-style, air-clearing session designed to restore his focus. After a breakout season in 2010 that vaulted him to national prominence, including a spot on the Madden NFL ’12 cover, the 25-year-old back’s consuming desire for a new contract has become a locker room distraction that numerous teammates regard as an impediment to cohesion and collective success."

Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace confirmed to Cabot that some Browns players weren't particularly excited that Hillis flew to Arkansas last Tuesday to get married instead of coming in for treatment.

"Of course we're going to be a little upset if Peyton's not in there getting his treatment," Wallace told Cabot. "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."

It's unclear what Hillis' end game is here. Yes, he deserves a raise for his performance last season. But in the last eight weeks, not only has he burned through any goodwill he had with the organization and the fans, he's cost himself millions -- plural -- of dollars. Not only in Cleveland but around the league. Teams aren't in the habit of signing malcontents, particularly running backs -- the easiest position to replace on the roster. Right, Chris Johnson?

And at this point in the proceedings it probably goes without saying, but, yeah, Hillis has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Texans.

Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans will host Colt McCoy and the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Reliant Stadium. Join Jason Horowitz and's Pat Kirwan as they take a look at this matchup. Watch the game at 1 PM ET on CBS.

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Since: May 22, 2010
Posted on: November 5, 2011 4:08 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

Payton Hillis is the Taylor Hicks of Madden cover players.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 5, 2011 4:04 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

Maybe so, but if a team like the Colts could get him cheap, they should do it.  They have to start filling holes somewhere and have limited amounts of dollars to do it.  They need to fix defense and find cheap offense somewhere.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:40 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

One hit wonder.

Since: Oct 30, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:38 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

I hope you're right!

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:35 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

Throw back player??? Throw back players don't whine about injuries or contracts. They don't buy their own hype after ONE good season. 

Another flash in the pan who thinks he's better than he is. Maybe after a few years of turmoil, he'll change his tune when he's approaching 30 and realize what's important. 

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:25 pm


The Madden Curse is ligit.  Players who ignore it, learn the hard way. 

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:13 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

To the commenter who compared Hillis to Mike Alstott: Nice way to compare a white running back to a white running back. Because there's nover been a black running back who's had a similar career to a white guy.

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:10 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

Who cares it the Browns LOL!! Pillis is a 1 hit wonder, What the hell has he ever done. He is awful

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:01 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

Just caught the NFL's Top 10 "one hit wonders"...weird ommission that Hillis wasn't on it. Must have been taped a couple of years ago. But once they update it, ohhh boy. Please don't call this man a Star. He's not! How many running back's over the years have compiled one good year(1177) and have been busts afterwards? More than you or anyone else can count. Atleast Chris Johnson ran for 2000 yards in a season and whined about it. What has Peyton Hillis done to deserve a contract that he thinks he deserves. Like I said, ONE good wasn't even great! When did 1200 rush yards once make a career? Sounds like Cleveland's version of Icky Woods, with a bad attitude. Short fat power back with a stupid dance that falls flat in Ohio. What terrible condition the state of Ohio's sports franchises are in. The reason why athletes leave Ohio is simple. IT'S OHIO!!! 

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: November 5, 2011 2:54 pm

Browns could let Peyton Hillis walk after season

I love the throwback players like Hillis but listen, he has been good for Denver and GREAT for Cleveland but make no mistake about it, he is not indispensable. He reminds of of Mike Alstott in some ways except Big Mike only missed games at the end of his career due to the beating he put his body through. Alstott never complained about his contract and always brought his lunchbox every time he suited up. Hey Peyton, I know you are not happy but look at Matt Forte! He is currently making $600k this season and QUIETLY working on a new contract so he does not become a distraction. Suck it up, get healthy, perform like we know you can, and then you will be rewarded.

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