Grossi Predictions: Peyton Hillis and Phil Dawson Leave Cleveland

In his Sunday column, Cleveland Browns beat writer Tony Grossi discussed the potential of select restricted free agents returning to the team for the 2012 season. While Grossi does feel that the team will have linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and cornerback Dimitri Patterson back in uniform, two of the more disheartening predictions come in the form of running back Peyton Hillis and place kicker and team captain Phil Dawson, whom are both thought to be playing for another franchise come next season.

Dawson is the longest tenured member of the Cleveland Browns being the only man to have been with the team when it returned to the city in 1999.  A franchise tag would cost the Browns approximately $4 million which is a considerable price for a place kicker regardless of the percentage of scoring he contributed this past season. Also, Grossi states that Dawson recently turned 37 years of age and has relocated his family to Austin, Texas — a “strong indication ” that  he would like to leave in free agency.

Hillis has has had one of the worst up-and-down campaigns in recent memory after being named to the cover of Madden 12 to only deal with a variety of injuries and miss considerable time.  Despite his finish to the 2011 season, Grossi feels that the two sides still remain at an impasse over how much the player should be guaranteed in his next contract.

  • Gren

    I can’t say I wouldn’t be disappointed but, I’ve learned to love the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.

  • Anonymous

    It’s disheartening when you are faced with the decision of “franchising” your place kicker….not your #1 WR, your freak of an athlete/QB killing DE, your opposite shutdown corner….no, your place kicker because he was our the teams most effective offensive weapon.

    On the other hand Maybe letting PDawson go will exercise some of those 1999 demons?

  • Anonymous

    Letting Dawson go would be a huge blunder from both a football and public relations standpoint. Why would they want to do this? The guy’s money in a very tricky place to kick in.

    Letting Hillis go would also be dumb. You can’t tell me that the two sides can’t work out a deal that would make them both happy.

  • Big Z

    I had a strong feeling Hillis would be leaving after this season. It’s just the dismal fortune of this new franchise. Perhaps once Dawson leaves, being the last player on the roster from the 1999 team, he’ll take the funk with him? 

  • Big Z

    Ha! Word up CMM13! Just saw your post.

  • Craig Lyndall

    I really can’t imagine Hillis getting back in a Browns uniform either.  Ultimately, he just hasn’t proven enough to get the dollars I’m guessing someone will pay him.  Also, if the Browns just take care of the offensive line, it won’t matter that much who is running.  I dream of the Browns having interchangeable running backs with a great offensive line.

    Also, maybe the Browns will go crazy and go get Forte this offseason. :-)

  • Anonymous

    I’m all for the new style plug-able RB setup. If we can somehow draft Kalil or Reiff with our top pick. A good OL man can last 10 years. Also a good fullback Marecic isn’t gonna cut it.

  • Shamrock

    I don’t think the Browns worry about public relations anymore but Dawson deserves to be paroled he’s served his time in football hell. As for Hillis it’s a shame things ended up the way they did but I’m sure he’ll get his money somewhere.

    If both guys do in fact leave that’s two more holes to be plugged. Maybe the Browns better trade down for extra draft picks because they’ll need them!

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure he’ll get a chance somewhere.

    But not sure there will be a huge payday for a RB that can’t prove he can stay healthy for an entire season.

    Any team considering signing him will definitely have the upper hand at the negotiating table.

  • Anonymous

    Agree Craig.

    I could stomach a backfield of Jackson/Hatdesty/Obi as long as the OL and WR’s are addressed.

    We won’t be able to plug all the holes this offseason but with a solid line to open holes Jackson is very serviceable RB in the west coast offense.

    Plus addressing WR obviously stops letting every FS/DB cheat in on us and can open the run game up as well.

    Although Forte on a 2 year signing would be attractive as well.

  • Anonymous

    great minds and all that. :)

  • Harv 21

    “You can’t tell me that the two sides can’t work out a deal that would make them both happy.” Why? Not an uncommon situation if one side is making a serious miscalculation of market value. I don’t blame the Browns on this one. When a player changes agents 3 times in 2 years in anticipation of free agency, when he’s been given inordinate amounts of publicity after 1 good year, this stuff happens. He now carries injury and team disruption baggage. They have to let him go if he demands a contract reflecting a more established back without the baggage.      

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Im curious one one thing:  If Hillis went out and tested the FA market, and lets say got an offer worth $5 mil that the Browns were willing to match, would he be inclined to come back to Cleveland or does he just want to get out of here?

  • Anonymous


    If he did want to come back would you be okay with us spending $5 million on him or using that money elsewhere?

    Knowing we will have back a healthy Jackson next year and watching the Pats destroy the Broncos last night with an elite passing game to athletic TE’ (which we have) and sure handed WR’s (which we need) behind a wall of an offensive line (which we need) using “serviceable” RB’s (which we have without Hillis) I’d rather spend the $ on the great list of FA wideouts this offseason

  • Titus Pullo

    Grossi wrote last year that Dawson was leaving and it didn’t happen. He’ll just keep writing it until it comes true.

    As for Hillis, agree he didn’t do enough to earn mega-contract, but if he didn’t earn one from the Browns, will another team be inclined to give him one? Generally, in free agency, you are paying a player for what they did for their previous team, maybe that will work in the Browns favor.

  • Anonymous

    I think Brownies re-sign both Hillis and Dawson as they say they want to stay (priority re-sign nos. 3 and 2 respectively). Re-signing NFL Comeback Player of the Year and Pro Bowl snub (first alternate) D’Qwell Jackson is top priority as he is like the QB of our D.

  • Observer

    Hillis was sick and came back after loosing a lot of weight , due to media and others
    making issues of him missing .
    You don’t loose that much weight just holding out like rumored,he then came back
    and at not 100% and pulled his ham string and because of all the bad mouthing from
    the news media and some so called team mates he played again before the ham string
    was 100% and pulled it more.He then let it heal more and started to look like the running back we know.
    A lot of you mouthing him couldn’t hold his jock and if he is released I hope a team in the
    AFC North signs him so he can run over the Browns twice a year for being so dumb..

  • Mike Baceda

    Well ask yourself the question? Would you want to come back here with the fans raging on you??? Or get the same ot better money somewhere else.
    That being said I’d like him here anyways!!!

  • Doubleh70

    Matt Flynn is the “new” Scott Mitchell. He looked good in one relief appearance and now everyone says he’s the man. Child please.