Episode 238 of the Peyton Hillis Saga is now up and running. The running back has parted ways with his agent, while negotiations with the Cleveland Browns continue as the team seeks to re-sign the fifth-year pro. Hillis had a disappointing season last year after a terrific 2010 that landed him on the Madden NFL 12 cover.
Hillis will now have his fourth agent since the start of the 2011 season, and the off-field noise continues to plague the 26 year old out of Arkansas. He was injured much of 2011, and the contract situation clearly had an effect on his production throughout the year.
Browns' GM Tom Heckert has expressed that he wants Hillis to remain with Cleveland and there have been talks of a three-year deal on the table. With the Browns locking up linebacker D'Qwell Jackson recently, the Franchise Tag is also an option. ESPN's Josina Anderson spoke with Heckert, who said:
If we can work something out with Peyton (Hillis) we will. Did he have some rough patches during the season? Yes. Were there stretches where things were blown out of proportion? Yes. Honestly, I feel like a lot of that was blown up in the media. Now, of course things will still come down to the money, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Ah, yes, it will come down to the money, something that seems to have been a theme through the Hillis contract negotiations. He seems to think he's worth more than the team -- and likely, his agents -- believes he deserves.
Eventually one side or the other will have to budge, and with the Browns holding cap room and a bunch of picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, I have to believe it won't be Cleveland. Either Hillis will come down from his asking price, or he'll be wearing a new jersey soon.