Peyton Hillis' story grows more bizarre
Peyton Hillis
NFL reporter
Posted Mar 1, 2012
Aaron Wilson

Running back Peyton Hillis' star-crossed tenure with the Cleveland Browns may be coming to a bizarre end.

The bullish runner isn't getting the franchise tag, so he's likely going to become a free agent and hit the open market.

That's normal for backs who don't produce on a consistent basis like Hillis. What's highly unusual is Hillis being on his fourth agent in the past year after parting ways with Kennard McGuire and how he apparently considered quitting the game to pursue a career with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Industry sources told Scout that Hillis is regarded as a wild card by NFL teams and agents with a high risk-reward factor.

That may hurt his chances of landing a market-value contract or obtaining new representation even though some agents remain interested in Hillis.

But there's no word from the CIA on whether they're in a hiring mode.

Citing team sources, ESPN reported that Hillis pondered retirement at the end of the season and that he expressed interest in joining the CIA.

At this point, though, Hillis is expected to continue playing.

But even considering retirement sends up a red flag to NFL teams. They want someone who's fully committed, reliable and not constantly creating headlines.

Hillis is sending a message with all of his agent switching that he's distracted and consumed with money.

Hillis' unsuccessful bid for a new contract was a distraction for the Browns' locker room last season -- so much so that teammates staged an intervention with the former Arkansas star to get him to settle down and focus.

He still wound up rushing for only 587 yards and a career-low 3.6 yards per carry.

It looks like a classic example of one big season -- rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns and gracing the cover of the popular John Madden video game -- going to Hillis' head.

Hillis' options at this point are to hire an agent and cut the best deal possible with either the Browns or someone else

Expect it to be a short-term contract given that Hillis is coming off a bad season and there are legitimate questions regarding his focus and commitment to the game.

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