|Hillis called CIA report '100 percent false,' adding that it 'makes me sound insane.' (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
Once the Browns signed linebacker D'Qwell Jackson to a long-term deal, there was speculation that they might use the franchise tag on running back Peyton Hillis. Didn't happen. Instead, the organization chose to tag 37-year-old kicker Phil Dawson, which should tell you just where Hillis figures in the Browns' future.
Also not helping: a recent story that Hillis was contemplating retirement and entertaining thoughts of joining the C.I.A.
On Friday, Hillis set the record straight on his professional future. Speaking with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot, the running back called the reports that had given thought to joining the C.I.A. "100 percent false," adding that "it makes me sound insane."
Yeah, it does. But no one thought much of it given all that happened during the 2011 season, starting with the Madden curse (it's real!), the reports that his impending contract situation affected his decision to play, and the Boys and Girls Club Halloween PR disaster.
Given all that, it's not inconceivable that Hillis might decide to give up on football altogether.
"That's ridiculous," he told the Plain-Dealer regarding retirement. "I never one time mentioned anything to any coach about retirement or joining the CIA or anything like that. That's pretty much ridiculous and 100 percent false. I don't know what's going on or who came up with a story like that, but they should've come up with a better one to make it sound more legit.''
And a life as an intelligence officer?
"It makes me sound insane," he said. "Why would you give up football to go to the CIA? It's ridiculous and it hurts what people think about you. And I think it's very unfair.''
(To be fair, Tiger Woods gave some consideration to becoming a Navy SEAL, which is infinitely more preposterous than Hillis joining the C.I.A.)
As for Hillis' NFL future, he says he wants to stay in Cleveland.
"I've always loved this city and I still do love it and I still want to play for the Cleveland Browns. I'm not sure who wants me there and who doesn't want me there. It's out of my hands at this point. They've said they might want to re-sign me.''
Hillis even indicated that he'd be willing to take a hometown discount.
"Yeah, of course, just because I want to be a Brown. It just depends on what they want to do. When free agency gets here, I'd love to hear them out.''
A year ago, Hillis was one of the league's best running backs. Now he's happily discussing hometown discounts. There's a reason the man believes in the Madden curse.
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