Tag:Peyton Hillis Madden Curse
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:34 am

Report: Browns now want Peyton Hillis back

Hills could be back in Cleveland next year. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

2011 wasn't Peyton Hillis' year. But maybe 2012 already got him clear of the Madden Curse, as the Browns reportedly want to re-sign the running back, despite his injuries during the previous season.

That's according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who reports that Hillis "worked his way back into the team's good graces" over the final six weeks of the season, and that Cleveland would like him back in 2012.

Hillis struggled with injuries, a belief that he was soft, playing time, and all the other things that accompany the Madden Curse in 2011. After busting out for 1,177 yards in 2011, Hillis took a major step back in 2012, rushing for just 587 yards in 10 games, nine of which he started.

At one point, he was the embodiment of Cleveland athletics, a blue-collar guy whose style of running fit perfectly with the way Cleveland sees itself. Which is precisely why the Browns kept saying they'd re-sign him.

That they're now interested in locking up Hillis again is interesting, but perhaps the timing of the interest is obvious, given how much cheaper  Hillis will be to sign than he was a year ago at this time.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:05 pm

Peyton Hillis believes in Madden Curse after 2011

By Will Brinson

You think Peyton Hillis wants to forget all about 2011? Probably so; Hillis went from a surprise running back in 2010 to a potential franchise player before 2011 to an in-season distraction to an absolute afterthought for the Browns at times.

And, as is completely understandable, he's willing to blame these problems on appearing on the cover of Madden 12.

"No doubt about it," Hillis said Thursday when asked if the Madden Curse was real, per the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "Things haven't worked to my favor this year. There's a few things that happened that made me believe in curses. Ain't no doubt about it."

Hillis entered 2011 looking to nail down a new contract with Cleveland, a team and city that his blue-collar attitude seemed to encapsulate. Instead, he struggled from the start with low production and injuries and the Browns never made any overtures.

It appears now, as our Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin notes, that Hillis is headed to free agency, as the running back hasn't heard anything about possible contract negotiations.

"If there has been, I don't know know of any," Hillis said.

Per Gitlin, Hillis is interested in returning to the Browns in 2012, but depending on how he plays down the stretch that may be a difficult proposition. The Browns obviously won't franchise tag him and if Hillis finishes strong down the stretch, he may want more money than the Browns are willing to pay.

And Hillis knows how important Week 17's game against Pittsburgh is for potential suitors in free agency.

"I want people to see that I'm not a one-hit wonder and that I can always play well," Hillis said when asked about Sunday's game against the Steelers.

If Hillis wants to do that, he should probably also avoid landing on any Madden covers in the future. Although that probably won't be a problem any time soon.

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