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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wake-up call: Hillis unsure about future

By Jamison Hensley

Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

Running back Peyton Hillis said it "definitely worries" him that he might not be able to fulfill his goal of retiring as a Brown.

Hillis, who is playing the final year of his contract, has been unable to strike a new deal with Cleveland.

"You feel unappreciated because you want to get something done and nothing has gotten done at this point," Hillis told reporters via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "As far as that goes, you don't know the ultimate feelings in the end of what's going on up top. You take it with a grain of salt and you keep moving on."

Hillis' contract situation has become a major issue with the Browns. After he missed the Week 3 game against Miami with strep throat, there was a report that Browns players questioned whether Hillis was protesting the lack of a new contract.

Hillis acknowledged that he probably would've suited up against the Dolphins if his agent hadn't advised against it.

"He was just looking out for me," Hillis said. "That's what he's there for, so I have to give him thanks, too. Because I'm stubborn and hardheaded and I like to go out there and play even though I was probably not up for it."

Meanwhile, defensive lineman Marcus Benard suffered a broken hand resulting from a motorcycle accident Monday. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Hensley's slant: Another day, another chapter in "Sick-gate." I can't remember ever hearing more about one player missing one game. This is obviously a distraction to Hillis if he is publicly voicing concern over his future in Cleveland. Like I've repeatedly said, the best way to make this a non-issue during the season is to table talks until the offseason. This has been the biggest negative in an otherwise solid start for the Browns.