NFL Free Agency: Browns Didn’t Offer Contract to Peyton Hillis

Despite the Cleveland Browns front office claiming to have desire to retain running back Peyton Hillis, reports are circulating that the team never made an offer prior to Hillis’ acceptance of a one-year deal in Kansas City.

Hillis had rehired his old agent Jimmy Sexton with hopes of staying in Cleveland. He had also gone on record to state that he would be willing to take a “hometown discount” with the front office insinuating that the parties would look at terms that were financially feasible for both sides. Less than 24 hours into the free agency period, the back who amassed over 1,200 yards in 2010 agreed to a deal that would pay him $3 million in a reserve role.

The Browns running attack will enter camp with Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson, and any off-season additions. They will likely also need help on the offense of line having recently released Tony Pashos and Eric Steinbach.

Presently, the only speculation involving the Cleveland backfield regards interest in Houston Texans running back Ben Tate. The team has also been linked to running back Trent Richardson whom the team could potentially select with the fourth-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. 

[Related: NFL Free Agency: Where’s all the Browns money?]

(Source: Mary Kay Cabot)

  • cmm13

    I like trading Sheldon Brown for Ben Tate better.  =)

  • erchoov

    I’ve been reading the comments and I’ve read that “he’s only had 1 good year and he’s a headcase.”  That means, he’s had 1 good year more than anyone else on this roster.  If we don’t want a headcase on the team then I’m really curious about the Frostee Raper signing.  I think H+H have no idea where to start on this team and have thrown in the towel.  If not, then I’m convinced the game plan is to be a perrenial top pick contender.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m a homer, but I love David Wilson and really want him to be a Brown.  He ran behind a sub-par offensive line and still put up great numbers.  Like Hillis, he’s the kind of RB who will break through several tackles before going down and he always seems to fall forward.  He’s got great speed and crazy athleticism.  Reasons to love David Wilson – he’s quirky/funny… once chased down and caught a rabbit on the drillfield and ran up the flying buttresses to the top of VT’s basketball arena.  He can also do something like 15 no-hands backflips in a row.  One time he was being tackled with his hands caught up by the defender, so he used his helmet to push off the ground and keep running.  You could say I have a huge man-crush on him.

  • Mansoor Khan

    Wait a second… Hillis was describing an offer that he got during an interview he gave… This doesn’t sound kosher. 

  • MrCleaveland

    Well, at least he didn’t go to Pittsburgh.


  • Mansoor Khan

    Don’t be silly. Hillis leaving isn’t a bad move. He’s not worth the trouble, and running backs are replaceable. It’s like slamming the office for cutting a long snapper after he has 2 bad games. 

  • Max

    the plan is to keep randy on the treadmill chasing the carrot as long as they can keep cashing their enormous paychecks

  • kjn

    If we’re asking for explanations: why did the front office say they wanted to keep Hillis when they really did not?

  • More like left LAME offense if you get what I’m sayin….

  • BenRM

    they said that before he wanted to join the CIA, though. So I don’t know if it counts anymore. 

  • Max

    yeah, him in a black helmet missing a logo on one side running through our defense for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns really might have been the last straw for me

  • kjn

    A very good point.

    This describes how I feel about most moves the Browns have made as of late.

  • mgbode

    the team that I think is the most likely to really, really want to trade up with us is:
    Miami Dolphins
    They traded away Brandon Marshall for 2 3rd round picks.
    They are likely to sign Matt Flynn.
    They have a GB based coaching staff (Holmgren and staff still have ties and that always helps in trade negotiations)
    They could want Blackmon really badly. Maybe enough to give us #8 + #41 + #73 (Chicago’s 3rd rounder).

  • kjn

    He claimed that was BS. It sure sounded unbelievable.

  • mgbode

    I’ve heard lots of stories of him that sound fun.  I haven’t seen enough of his play for me to comment much on him on the field.

    Lamar Miller reminds me of LeSean McCoy, which is why I like him.

  • Garry_Owen

    I believe he heard from the Steelers the exact same thing that he heard from Heckert.  I also believe that he likely landed in the only place, outside of Cleveland, that he realistically could have landed – particularly at the price he got.  He’s with his pal Daboll, dreaming of rekindling the pseudo-magic of two seasons ago, before he got injured and before he went kinda sorta crazy. 

    I will certainly be interested to see if the magic returns.  I have serious doubts.   

  • mgbode

    surprised noone mentioned that Pitt passed up on him after his visit there too.   you’d think $3mil sounds like pretty good insurance on Mendenhall’s knee.

  • BenRM

    It probably was; but I don’t think anyone can deny that he turned into a headcase after the Madden cover. 

    WR’s are supposed to be the divas, not RBs. 

  • mgbode

    not really an invalid argument if it were true.  we’d still want to keep the best guys and keep building. 

    of course, Joe Thomas is the best offensive playere we have had.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I wouldn’t mind getting Miller either… saw him once when Miami played VT and they couldn’t stop him… he hits the hole and he’s gone.  Luckily, Miami couldn’t stop Wilson & Logan Thomas that day either.

  • cmm13

    I can agree only to a certain point on that. 

    If the best player you have is only the best player because everyone else is so bad; then the point is moot.

    If the best player you have is Tom Brady on a 4 win team; then yes…you keep him.

  • i mentioned dallas since they just parted ways with t newman and may like claiborne and their pick (15) seems a good value spot for t rich.

    and there is some buzz in boston about using some of their hoarded picks to move up and get blackmon for brady.  in addition to their own, the pats have the saints’ #1 (28) and oakland’s #2 (51).  im still hoping that we can deal with them and somehow pickup mallett in the deal…

    but hey, if we can get miami’s 2nd rounder by moving back to 9, that works too!

    (agree wholeheartedly with your needs assessment.  lotsa holes to fill.)

  • Big Z

    HA! You called their running game an “attack.”

    Of course they didn’t offer him a contract, that would’ve been productive.

    It would be ridiculous to see them REACH for Richardson at #4.

    C’mon man!

  • To be fair they’re only like 2 mil under the cap, so even if they liked him the Chiefs offer likely trumped anything they could offer.

  • mgbode

    I still disagree though.  You still try to keep the best player, but you upgrade the talent around him to make him the worst player 🙂

    Now, it’s not always possible to do it that way and there are way more factors in play here than on the field stuff, unfortunately.

  • kjn

    True. But I’m one of the view people who don’t have a problem with divas, as long as they get it done on the field.

    But my main point: Hillis has been a diva for a while. Hillis has had injury issues for a while. So why did we say we were interested in him, make him offers, and then ultimately just let him walk at a price I’m sure we could have afforded if we so desired?

    I’m not saying it’s the wrong choice, mind you. I’m just curious what changed.

  • kjn

    few, not view

  • mgbode

    there’s always wiggle room with the cap, but I get the point KC might have felt more comfortable given their cap situation

  • Wow

    Where is the kool-aid you’re all drinking? I want some too. I almost wanted him to go to Pittsburgh just so he could destroy the Browns twice a year. What a joke.

  • BullCity

    I agree 100%, Martin would fit nicely into the WCO and had a great combine as well (4.55 40, 36″ vert, 28 reps on the bench).  For a smaller back. he’s nicely put together.

    I also really like Lamar Miller from the U. Just an explosive runner with great breakaway speed.

  • Bull City

    The problem I have with losing Hillis and getting Richardson is that you’re creating a need and filling it, while using a #4 pick to do so; it’s just not the most efficient use of your picks.  Plus, when you figure in the fact that it’s a RB, using that 4 pick for that position seems a bit much. 

    I say they should’ve given Hillis a one-year deal (like KC did) and see if he returns to form.  If he doesn’t, or if he partakes in any shenanigans, cut him after the season or on the spot, respectively.

    Heckert has done well on his first two drafts, so I’ll continue to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he better knock this draft outta the park..

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    You’ve brought this up before, and it’s a great point. I’ve always thought it very weird that the media has never discussed it.

  • Garry_Owen

    Cheers!  We need a little brightening amidst all the dark clouds of negativity. 

  • Garry_Owen

    Cheers!  We need a little brightening amidst all the dark clouds of negativity. 

  • crobarred

     Hillis will not be relevant in KC unless you play Fantasy Football.  He’ll vulture TD’s away from Jamaal Charles inside the 20.  For what it is worth I do wish the Browns would have resigned Hillis even amid all the drama.  What they have now is not adequate.  Brandon Jackson has never been a 200+ carry back.  Hardesty is too timid and is injury prone.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m not going to trash what Hillis did here I was never a true believer of his given how Denver gave him away for Quinn but the guy was the only real threat the Browns had on offense.  He was missed last year and it’ll be interesting to see what the braintrust does now.  In KC Hillis doesn’t have to be the man in fact he should be a perfect compliment to Charles.  Unlike the Browns the Chiefs have alot of versaitility on offense despite a QB who is hit or miss.  At $3M Hillis was a cheap gamble.

  • what about the young man we had at the end of the year, Christine ? can’t spell it. he did a great job.. Hardesty is a joke, of course he was running behind the absolutely  worst o-line in any organized football league. When your QB has the dirtiest uniform on the team, that means your o-line really sucks. And our line was the worst in any football league from the little kids to pro, they were pathetic.

  •  back when i was young, The Browns, had a player with your name. He was my favorite player. When he retired he moved to Ashtabula, Oh. My dad did work with him cause dad was a contractor & Mr Kanicki was in finance. You wouldn’t happen to be that person. If so wow, being on her cause I’m in Geneva, Oh. If so its an honor. Back then football was football, saw my 1st game at age 7 in 1963 at the old stadium. It was incredible. sorry to ramble but that was football not marketing on Wall Street. Take care Bill Maltby Jr

  • 🙂 short story is that miltmorin as a username on the cle-dot-com forum was taken so jimkanicki was my fallback.  

    no, i’m not him.  and youre right… he was great and from a great era… and equally interesting, seems to have built a successful business in ashtabula.  

    you forget these guys are real people, right?

    anyway, this is the disclaimer i run on my lame-o website:
    I co-opted Mr. Kanicki’s name as a tribute to that era and to a fine representative of the Browns from the 60s. IF I should ever have a request from the Kanicki family to cease and desist, I most certainly will. And Mr. Kanicki, if you should ever read this, thank you for playing hard Browns football and contributing to the last championship Cleveland has seen.