August 1, 2014

Controversies Sell Better Than Corrections

Thanks to the quiet of the bye week in Browns town, the Peyton Hillis “story” was big news all week long.  It cluttered the airwaves at 92.3 WFAN and even Adam the Bull couldn’t help but say that teams should keep stuff like this “in house” but that he was glad they didn’t because it was good for his afternoon drive-time show with Dustin Fox.  You can certainly debate whether or not it was good for his show, but there is little doubt that it was all around a bad week for Browns fans as an unnecessary potential wedge was being driven between Browns fans and Peyton Hillis.  All of it began with a report from Adam Schefter about alleged “whispers in the Browns locker room.”

You may or may not believe me, but I honestly didn’t want to talk about any of the Peyton Hillis stuff.  I didn’t think it was much of a story.  We’ve been through this before with beloved players like Josh Cribbs.  We love Browns players, but we love the Cleveland Browns team even more.  When that team is seemingly at odds financially with a player, it is a sticky situation.  Everyone would be better off if we just acted like Tom Heckert and only discussed these things after deals are completed.  That’s obviously unrealistic, but now we’re finding out so were Adam Schefter’s reports.

Per Pro Football Talk…

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a meeting between Hillis’ agent and the team occurred the day after the Miami game. And while progress still need to be made (not so much as to amount but as to structure and guarantee), there was no reason for Hillis to make any type of statement by shying away from playing.

Before we rake Adam Schefter over the coals too much, his report might have been accurate.  He could have heard whispers from some player sources inside the Browns locker room that at least a few players were suspicious that Peyton’s absence in the Miami game was a contract ploy.  The real issue comes when you take that piece of information and don’t apply any logic to it.

I can believe a couple of players in a tough-guy league like the NFL might have had it cross their minds that Peyton Hillis should have played against Miami.  Just reporting something like that is titillating and fosters speculation.

That’s ultimately why I wanted to try and put some more reasonable speculation out there last week.  But where was Adam Schefter?   Did he not feel the need to update the story?  Is everything dead after he reports “whispers?”  Make no mistake, Adam Schefter fills a niche with his information, but maybe we should all be a little bit more careful how we use that information and to what extent.  There was a whole lot of speculation fostered with a pretty incomplete bit of information last week.

  • MallaLubba

    Subheading to this situation: Guilty by Accusation. What d’ya think?

  • MrCleaveland

    Well I heard that Hillis totally faked his illness and that he set up his agent so that he would look bad and he would get a better contract, and Holmgren knew all about it, but he kept it quiet because he wants Shurmur to fail so he can coach again. Why isn’t this being reported?

  • http://wfny greg mascher

    I HEARD from my 2nd cousin who knows a kid whos aunt knows a steeler fan who heard that peyton hillis is the son of art modell and was sent here to hurt the browns. c’mon people wake up……quit listening to this horsesh#t.all the talk is just rumors. Hillis and the browns are going to be fine. lets work on a playoff spot and kick some butt this year. all browns fans need to stick by this young team and support them to the fullest. GO BROWNS !!!

  • -bobby-

    In good news, the falcons are 2-3 and they have some stiff competition in the NFC South. The schedule looks pretty difficult also.

  • Hetz

    Way to take the most positive development for the Browns in years, the emergence of a legitimate star player in step with the city’s smashmouth identity, and let it devolve into a “controversy”.

    Only in Cleveland.

  • http://rfsmith1952@comcast.net Bob Smith

    I’ve been a Browns fan for decades, even though I live in Eagles territory. I keep up to date with the bleacher report and a coupla other things.
    So here is my opinion, unfettered: The Browns stink. They stank last year, and the year before that and the year before that ad infinitum.
    Every year I hope for better, and every year is the same or worse.
    I can see Hillis going to a team that doesn’t stink, more money or not.
    Despite Mike, Shurmur, McCoy and/or any other name you want to throw in there, things are about the same. Stinky.
    I love the Browns. I don’t get to see them much. The shows don’t even show the game highlights most the time. That should tell you something.
    I fell in love with the Browns many years ago when they played America’s team on primetime, and soundly thumped their asses.
    But I’m probably being selfish here. The Browns probably feel worse about it than I do.
    Wish I could think of some uplifting, inspirational way to end this. Sorry.
    Bob Smith

  • Clint

    Great post. The Hillis controversy has been ridiculous.

  • return of the (alex) mack

    two top 15 draft choices perhaps?

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Teams with a recent track record of winning worry about locking down star players. Its just tough for me to look at the Browns, a team that regularly finishes with 6 wins or less, and worry too much about securing any one player for the long term.

    I like Hillis as much as the next Browns fan, but the guy just needs to keep playing hard and hope for the best when it comes to his contract.

    Bad teams get worse by giving star level contracts to above average players because ‘he’s our only really good guy.’ Everyone take a deep breath…Hillis will get his raise if he’s willing to show some patience. But let’s not forget, this team needs some offensive talent in a bad way (how many catches for Robo this year?). The Browns can’t just ‘Pay Da Man’ every time a player shows a hint of promise and expect to have money left over for extra pieces.

    My guess is that H & H are holding on through this year so that they can make some big moves in the draft and free agency next year. Two first round picks give them a lot of leverage, especially considering how bad the falcons look.

  • gary holt

    A well written objective article! The ‘powers that be’ are building this team in the ‘right’ way!’ Yes, it’s slower but the Browns are getting better and YOUNGER…the Ravens and Steelers are good but getting older (and CINCY? They will STILL have Mike Brown as owner!!!)
    This next draft is CRUCIAL…if they draft as well as their 1st two…Watch Out!!! :-o)

  • -bobby-

    @6- We’ve already resigned quite a few players. Like Rubin, Moore, Thomas and Gocong. I personally think they reached with Gocong (something like 3 years 16 mil??!!). I would say DQ and Hillis should have gotten done after JT and Rubin. The FO have been fine with resigning players. My guess would be the amount of money. IMO they put themselves in a bind by giving Gocong that contract when thats the ideal money to lock Hillis down with, and he is far more valuable then Gocong.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    @ Bobby

    I don’t completely disagree with you. However, you can’t directly compare the gocong and hills situations, because supply and demand are unique for each individual position. It’s too simple to say, “all these guys got deals, and hillis is way more important. They must give hillis a similar contract offer now.”

    The Browns are in a great negotiating seat right now with Hillis. They have two first round draft picks coming their way that they could hypothetically use on a running back. As much as we think that everyone’s egos and feelings come into play in these situations, the simple fact is that the Browns have from now until the end of the season to figure out a deal with hillis, and until then, hillis has little choice other than to play out the season under his current contract.

    The Browns aren’t going to give hillis more money for this season ‘just because.’. They are going to learn as much as they can about his overall ability while paying him the minimum, because they can.

  • JM

    A reporter for ESPN wrong again. Who would have thought it? Watch for the latest lockout “news” today at 3 when Sportscenter is on for the tenth time.

  • Cato

    I can’t tell much difference between the nfl channel and espn, they spend 60% of their time gushing about the omnipotent Michael Vick and the Dream Team in Philly or who can stop Cam Newton? Nothing like judging this year by the last, eh?

    I knew Detroit would be much much better, but apparently I was alone. You still don’t see as much about them as the Super Bowl-bound Eagles. And watching either channel for a hint of what else is transpiring in the league just leads to 20 minutes of frustration followed by 3 minutes of Tourette’s.

    All games should be presented without sound. The program should start one minute before kickoff. We all know what’s going on or what isn’t, we don’t need 6 guys with 23 concussions between them and decades of snorting Milorganite telling us ‘This is all about the DEEfense, Luther’ BFD.

    The hype threatens what was once a fairly pleasurable experience for me. I’m tired of the trash talk, the end-zone behavior that would otherwise be reserved for a cure for cancer and the attempts by the thinly-disguised criminal element to paralyze their opponents.

    Of course, I’m sure the Coliseum started out fairly tame as well.

  • http://aol.com don magill

    i heard from a third cousin of mine, twice removed, that his sixth ex wife, said that peyton was with her , as well as his agent! bout as true as any other bs comments on here!

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I’m on board with you, Kevin. The front office is playing this right. Let’s play out the season…they will have nearly double the sample size on Hillis by then and will know what he truly is. All these other guys that we signed to long term deals are proven commodities. Hillis has had one good season, and he was hurt the last few games last year. We’ve really only seen two games this year with him at 100%…one was just OK (Cincy), the other was pretty good (Indy). Let’s make sure he’s the guy we think he is before we start throwing money at him.

  • Roosevelt

    Hey, you guys got Adam the Bull? I used to listen to him on WFAN when I lived in Jersey. I liked him, but I could’t shake the impression that the only reason he was called “Bull” was because his last name was Gerstenhaber. He should be a nice addition to the Cleveland sports scene. Good luck, Adam!

  • Bcinu2

    Every year this scenario plays out across the country for any number of players. Though I agree with the FO letting this thing go on to an extent, I think the time to put up is on the Browns doorstep that at this point they are better served to get him signed sooner rather than persist. With that said, we have to other running backs on the team to be showcasing their talent by having them split 40 to 45% of the time. This keeps Hillis fresh for the December schedule that will come pretty quickly. With Hillis on board for long term it bodes well for the Team and those they have coming next season.

    Every year there will be some news that you can count on being splashed across the pages and comments. The Hillis thing is just a normal occurrence for the NFL and the media…..bc