Two weeks in a row now the Browns have made their determination about Peyton Hillis’ status early. I don’t have any inside information as to what is driving this, but the lack of distraction is welcome. It helps protect the Browns first-year head coach who struggled with those communications earlier this season and it protects Hillis from himself. I’d like to think that the Browns and Hillis’ people got their heads together and finally decided that a media silence combined with holding Hillis out until he is completely healthy was the way to go. The way things were going Hillis was hurting himself trying to get back on the field. He was hurting his ability to negotiate a new deal. The Browns were hurting themselves by not adequately preparing the roster for Sundays. It was just a mess that boiled over into conspiracy theories as fans picked sides.
Ultimately, all the added negativity was totally unnecessary. In my uninformed opinion all of this was just typical NFL business but blown out of proportion. Peyton Hillis wanted to be on the field to prove to the Browns that he deserved his contract. The Browns wanted him on the field to help develop in the offense and so they could figure out how much he is worth. The agent and the Browns were obviously far apart on the number, but that happens all the time.
So the Browns have let the perfect storm pass and are doing everything they can to make sure that it doesn’t come through again.
In an ideal situation, Peyton Hillis gets healthy. He contributes the last few weeks of the season. Of course the dream scenario would be helping Colt McCoy and the rest of the offense find a way to beat the Ravens and Steelers in back-to-back weeks to end the year. Certainly that is too much to ask of one player. As good as Peyton Hillis can be, he can’t single-handedly win those games for the Browns. But if he contributed enough to help the team do it, it would be a whole different kind of perfect storm. It would be one that could send Hillis and his agent home happy, not to mention every Cleveland Browns fan on earth.
It may not be likely, but I can never be accused of not dreaming big.