“I Felt So Terrible” – Former Cleveland Browns RB Talks About Contract Situations

Published 06/09/2020, 12:22 PM EDT


Former Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis, recently appeared on Cleveland local radio. He talked about different aspects of his career and how he could’ve done things differently.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Reflecting on His NFL Career

Hillis was picked by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2008 Draft. However, just after two seasons, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns where he gave a career-high performance with 1,764 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns across two seasons.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On being asked if he is proud of his career, Peyton said, “I grew a lot from the experiences that I had. Of course, I wish I would’ve made some different decisions in my career because I think it would have led to different outcomes. But overall I believe that I had a great career, especially with how everything started out…”

Hillis had a brilliant season in 2010 with the Browns. He was even voted to be on the Madden NFL’s 2012 cover and stood out among other athletes who had been on the same cover in the past for not being flashy or a Pro Bowler. “I was so proud that Cleveland thought so high[ly] of me… It was a surreal moment“, the RB said.

How and when everything began going downhill for Hillis

Hillis’s injuries in 2011 drastically affected his form. Many criticized him and said he was suffering from the “Madden Curse”. He only played in 10 games in 2011, starting only nine and rushing for just under 600 yards. Additionally, rumors about his lost desire to play not just in the NFL, but football in general, had become rampant.

Looking back at it — I felt so terrible because I really did feel like the fans had a misrepresentation of what was really going on,” Hillis explained. “I didn’t know how news was getting or how things were being said, but it wasn’t nothing like what they said it was. They would say they were offering me contracts that they weren’t and that I was denying them. They didn’t even ask me about any contracts because that was the lockout year. You couldn’t even negotiate contracts for the longest period of time… It was one of those situations where I think I knew I wanted to be in Cleveland. And so they’d tell me one thing and tell the news a different thing. It was just confusing and I don’t really know where it all went bad…

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Hillis told the Bleacher Report in 2015 that he wasn’t a “prototypical running back.” Chris Simms, a former quarterback for the Broncos and Peyton’s teammate, said that with his heavy and well-built physique, Hillis was a “good all-around athlete”.He could throw a football, he could run routes as good as any receiver on the team“, Simms said. However, Hillis has admitted to having always been more of a backup than a franchise running back.

In 2011, when his contract with Cleveland was about to expire, false rumors about a new contract were beyond controllable. While Hillis had the desire to stay in Cleveland, the team never made him an official offer, which allowed him to move to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wishing he had been able to continue with the Cleveland Browns

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite having moved, Peyton still regrets not being able to have found a way to stay with the Browns. “Honestly, I wish I would’ve retired in Cleveland,” Hillis revealed. “I wish that I could’ve played there for 10 more years. Even my wife said we loved our time in Cleveland more than we loved anywhere else, even in Arkansas. We just enjoyed Cleveland and every time we go back, we try to find an excuse to go back to Cleveland all the time, even to this day. There’s a lot of things that I wish I would’ve done differently, not just for me but for the fans also. I was young and stupid, what can I say?

Peyton Hillis went on to play for the New York Giants after his time with the Chiefs. However, his head injuries eventually compelled him to retire early in 2015.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Hrishikesh Bhise

93 articles

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT