Posted by Ryan Wilson
This should go over well, either with Browns running back Peyton Hillis or his teammates, but ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that there are whispers in the Cleveland locker room that Hillis' decision to miss last week's game against the Dolphins might have had more to do with the new contract he's looking for than the strep throat that was the official reason he didn't play.
Hillis currently makes $600,000, and given that he's one of the Browns' few offensive weapons and one of the most dynamic running backs in the league, he's certainly deserving of a raise. But it's not just people in the locker room raising eyebrows, former players were critical of Hillis earlier in the week.
The man whose face dons the cover of Madden 12 spoke to the criticism Thursday. “The people that really care about me, and want the best for me would understand,” Hillis said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. “And the people that don’t, then they don’t. But I can’t control that. And I’m going to do what’s best for me at that point. If it’s going to jeopardize my health in that situation, I’m going to take my own career and my own life in my own hands and do the best I can.”
Two days before the regular-season opener, team president Mike Holmgren confirmed to the Associated Press that the Browns were "trying like crazy" to sign Hillis. "We're always trying to keep all of our good young players," Holmgren said through a team spokesman.
And Hillis, at the time, sounded like a player focused on the upcoming season. "When the Browns want to extend me, they'll extend me," he said. "I'm going to do my part and play hard and do what I can do to make myself a better player."
Now, almost a month later, some former players -- and allegedly some teammates -- wonder if Hillis' motives extend beyond his health. Given the way the man plays the game, we find that hard to believe.
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