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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Schefter: Hillis considered retirement, CIA

By Jamison Hensley

It's one of those lines that makes you read it twice: Browns running back Peyton Hillis contemplated retirement over the past season and even considered joining the CIA.

Yes, the Central Intelligence Agency. I'm not sure if it offers sick days for strep throat, but that's another matter. I wouldn't believe this except it's a report that comes ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who cited team sources.

According to those sources, Hillis told Browns coaches as recently as the end of the season that he was thinking of calling it quits, though it now looks as if he will continue playing.

This is a major red flag with Hillis heading into free agency. What team would want to give him a long-term contract if he wasn't committed to playing as recently as this past season?

Browns general manager Tom Heckert told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Wednesday that the team would like to keep Hillis if the contract is reasonable. If the team sources are accurate in this report, my guess is that "reasonable" means a one-year contract.

Hillis is the picture of instability, which should give any team pause when looking at him in free agency. He has reportedly been a major distraction in the Browns' locker room (remember the intervention-style meeting during the season) and he just fired his third agent in a year.

But if this football thing doesn't work out, Hillis can always think about the CIA again. Or just rent the "Bourne Identity."