Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is in the middle of negotiating a new contract, and now he has admitted that his conspicuous absence from the sidelines during the team’s Week 3 win over the Miami Dolphins was influenced by his agent.
Hillis had been suffering through a terrible case of strep throat leading up to the Miami game and actually showed up at the stadium, but left hours before the game. Now the Madden 12 cover boy claims he probably would have played through the ailment if his agent hadn’t advised him not to.
Hillis has said he is sorry if he hurt teammates who wondered if his contract situation influenced the decision, but added that he has no regrets saying, “It was the right thing for myself, the right thing for the team.”
While I applaud Hillis for his honesty, I’m not sure admitting this now was a smart business decision. He is supposedly close to an agreement with the Browns, and the two sides are rumored to have agreed to the overall value of the deal, but not to the structure or amount of guaranteed money. You’d think an admission like this would only hurt things.
Hillis has been looking for a new contract since the preseason and it’s clear that he and his agent want to get things done soon. He rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, while catching 61 passes for 477 yards and two more scores. Clearly he’s worth more than the $600,000 he’s getting paid this year.
So far on the season Hillis has rushed 54 times for 197 yards and two touchdowns, and has 15 receptions for 76 more yards. He’s not putting up the numbers he did a year ago, but as we have seen, the Arkansas product certainly has the potential to be a reliable workhorse.
A deal should get done soon, and while the admission about his missed week won’t help matters, it probably shouldn’t hurt things either.