As if the Peyton Hillis saga has not had enough bizarre angles, ESPN”s Adam Schefter reports that the Browns running back spent the last year considering retirement and has told the team such intentions as recent as the end of this past season.
Recently firing his third agent in the past 12 months, Hillis reportedly “wavered” on playing football at all throughout the past season, going as far as to consider joining the CIA. Cititng deflation from a bevy of football-related issues — being a reserve in Arkansas, being traded from Denver, and being unable to secure a long-term deal in Cleveland — Hillis continues to be all over the mental map. Schefter adds that all of this does appear to be behind the player and he allegedly desires to continue on with his career in the NFL.
The Browns will reportedly not use the franchise tag on Hillis, opting to use the $7.7 million elsewhere. Recent reports circulated which stated the team has offered Hillis a three-year, incentive-laden deal. After the last year of extreme ups and downs, coupled with this latest revelation, it is difficult to envision any sort of large amount of guaranteed money being sent his way. If an agreement between parties cannot be reached, Hillis will become an unrestricted free agent.
Having the world in his hands as recent as two seasons ago, appearing on the cover of Madden 12 and having his jersey fly off of Cleveland shelves, in 10 games through 2011, Hillis amassed 587 yards and three touchdowns.
[Related: The Browns can’t know what they’re doing yet]