Peyton Hillis and the Cleveland Browns have enough problems with their team the way it is without getting into off the field issues. Unfortunately it seems that's exactly what is happening as Hillis's interest in getting a new contract has spilled into issues with his fellow teammates.
Hillis has seemed distracted while battling injury issues as of late and, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports, his teammates have decided to take matters into their own hands.
By Wednesday, a group of about eight Browns veterans had summoned Hillis into a meeting room for an intervention-style, air-clearing session designed to restore his focus.
"I've never seen anything like it," says one Browns veteran. "Last year, Peyton was such a positive, inspirational force on our team - but now he's like a different guy. It's like he's in a funk that he can't get out of, and it's killing us, because we really need him. And we've told him that. But we're at the point where we just don't know what to do."
In a surprising turn of events, a couple of the Browns' top players even went on record with their issues to Yahoo! for their report.
"A few guys tried to talk to him, to make him understand the best way to go about things is to put your head down and do the best you possibly can," said All-Pro tackle Joe Thomas, the team's best and highest-paid player. "Because if the Browns aren't going to pay you, some team will break the bank - and either way you need to play hard."
Added linebacker Scott Fujita: "The fact that everyone has to get asked about [Hillis' situation] by the local beat writers every day, it's started to create a distraction, and it's a shame that it has to be that way. I'm never gonna be in a position to question a player's toughness. I just want him to be healthy and in the right frame of mind to help the team. More than anything else, that's what our conversation with him was about."
There's really no telling how this ends, but considering Hillis will be out a few weeks after re-injuring his hamstring in practice this week, the questions about the team's star running back probably won't slow down.