Browns Have 5 Games to Make Decision on Peyton Hillis

It’s been an extremely bizarre season for both Peyton Hillis and the Cleveland Browns, and now both sides have just 5 games to decide if they want to extend the fun.   It’s been an entirely disappointing year for player and team, but deciding whether or not to sign Hillis to another contract is one of the looming items of intrigue remaining an another lost season for the Browns.

It could be argued that the Browns have 3 solid running backs just as easy as you could say that have none.   When healthy, Hillis has shown he could be a feature back.  When healthy Montario Hardesty has shown flashes, and Chris Ogbannaya has had 205 yards in his two starts.  At the same time, Hardesty and Hillis have both missed significant time due to injury, and Ogbannaya is far from proven. 

While Hillis didn’t wow anyone during the Browns loss to the Bengals today, he showed flashes of his old self and converted several first downs to extend drives.  He ran with some of the pop that helped him rush for nearly 1200 yards last season, and he gave the front-office at least some reason to consider making another attempt at re-signing him.

The Browns need playmakers plain and simple, and when health Hillis is just that.  It seems as though the time could be right for both sides to come together on a reasonable contract extension that would give Peyton the raise he desires, and for the Browns to have at least one bona-fide playmaker in the backfield heading into the off-season.

But the Browns management have been difficult to read this year, especially when it comes to contracts.  Re-signing Chris Gocong but not (yet) doing the same for D’Qwell Jackson would be one example of that.   It had been reported earlier in the year that they had already written Hillis off, but one has to think that a strong finish to the season would give them reason to reconsider.  Having Peyton Hillis in fold would at least give them a foundation to build on in an off-season in which there is plenty of work to do to fix an offense that is among the worst in the league.

With 5 games left, it’s up to Hillis to make his case.

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