Peyton Hillis, the latest Madden Curse victim

The curse is REAL, even for B list ballers like Hillis:

And this is why you don’t vote a player from your favorite team on the cover of Madden. Next year the Browns fans should vote for Polamalu or AJ Green or something.

I didn’t think Hillis really should’ve been on the cover in the first place, but congrats to the Browns for putting a good campaign together behind him - he wound up being the anti-Vick. What this actually show is how hard it is to have two good seasons a row in the NFL.

This isn’t a serious thread, right? The guy facing Hillis in the final vote was Vick. The guys Hillis beat out to get to that point were Ray Rice, Matt Ryan, Jamaal Charles, and Aaron Rodgers. With the exception of Rodgers, what are all their excuses? I mean, typical injuries + regression to the mean affects anyone who has a spectacular season. Look at Chris Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Johnson, Miles Austin, Roddy White…like Marley says, it’s the exception to put together two great, healthy seasons in a row, not indicative of a “curse” when they don’t.

As a Browns fan, I’m just about done with Peyton Hillis. It’s no secret he’s lost the respect of most of his teammates. His agent has publicly stated that he recommended Peyton not play, even if he was medically cleared. He just turned down a 3 year, $13mil contract from the Browns (only $3mil guaranteed).

Which is a fair contract for someone like Hillis who has only had one good season. I wonder if the league is catching up to him now, too…keying on him, seeing his weaknesses on tape, etc…didn’t he start to decline at the end of last season too?

Hillis missed a Halloween party at a boys and girls club. He had committed to be there, but didn’t show and is now apologizing and blaming a miscommunication between him and his management.

It’s stuff like that, the strep throat, contract issues, and poor play, I suspect there may be more than meets the eye.

It appeared as though he did, but not really. He ran for 322 yards in the first four games. He ran for 322 yards in the next four games. He ran for 318 yards in the third quarter of the season. He ran for 215 yards in the last four games. His per-carry averages for the same periods were 4.9, 4.8, 3.8 and 4.1.

He appeared to decline sharply from a fantasy perspective because he stopped catching passes and stopped scoring touchdowns.

By season-quarters, he caught 16, 14, 23 and then 8 passes, and scored 4, 4, 5 and 0 touchdowns.

I forgot about that. And the name of that party? Halloween with Hillis. Way to bail on a charity event named for you.

As for him declining last season, I think it was kind of expected as he was the only RB they could rely on. He carried the load last year. It was apparent that the Browns needed a change of pace back, which Hardesty was supposed to be this year. Now he’s hurt, too.

“His management” is his brother Kyle. Nice.

This whole situation has been a cluster fudge and not all the blame goes to Hillis. He and his current agent (his third in a year) clearly have an over inflated idea of his market value and that is a shame. The Browns have cap space this year an I could have seen a deal with a decent amount of front loaded guaranty money but now it’s looking more like the only way Hillis will come to accept what his real worth is will be to offer his services on the open market. And the rest of the problems grow out of this.

I’ve had strep throat, I couldn’t imagine trying to play football with it. It was widely reported he lost about ten pounds in the days before the game he missed, if true I don’t think anyone could doubt he was legitimately too sick to play. But because of the contract situation people began to speculate if there was some ulterior motive involved. The Browns head coach Pat Shurmur dropped the ball on this one, he was asked at a presser about Hillis and he said something to the affect of “I guess he was too sick to play,” talk about a flat out stupid comment. If he had instead said something like “the man lost ten pounds in two days, he is either seriously ill or suffering from an Ultra Slimfast addiction” then this story goes away. Now he has a ham string issue and people are pointing back to the strep story and wondering if Hillis is “once again” malingering as if he had done so previously.

I don’t think Payton Hillis is a particularly smart or media savvy person. He was not “medically cleared” to play the week he sat out due to strep. That is all he ever needed to say about it but instead he tells a reporter that his agent told him he shouldn’t pay if he was feeling that poorly. His agent’s advice was not really relevant because the team made him inactive that week so mentioning it to a reporter was just flat out stupid. It only feeds into the perception that Hillis and his agent are only interested in his pay day to the expense of the team.

Being a no show to the charity event is just too stupid for words given the media environment. It wouldn’t reflect well on any athlete but the local media (primarily talk radio hosts) were already filling countless on air hours fanning the flames of controversy and the Halloween party lets them recycle all their old complaints. I swear, this town is so starved for a winner we turn on our own like ravening wolves, it’s really kind of sad. Last year Eric Wright was having a bad year in an otherwise respectable career and the local media was giving him the same punching bag treatment that Hillis is getting right now. He was likewise in a contract year and he is now a contributing (if unspectacular) member of another team.

I don’t think Payton Hillis is a bad guy, he’s a kinda dumb guy in a bad situation.

I agree about Eric Wright. I liked him.

But Hillis, man, how dumb are you to tell the media that your agent told you not to play? And now this hamstring thing feels really awkward. And it’s not just the media getting on him. His teammates have lost respect, too. Of course, I heard that from Doug Dieken who may techically be a member of the media, but it’s not in his interest to make matters worse for the Browns.

His agent had already told the media, so it didn’t much matter at that point.

This doesn’t sound good for Hillis or the Browns, at all.
From the article: *According to, a group of teammates pulled Hillis aside recently and, in so many words, told him they’ve had enough of his act.

Their opinion of him apparently plummeted when they saw him throwing passes from midfield to the crossbar prior to the San Francisco game. He missed that game with his hamstring injury.

The Plain Dealer also reports today that some players were upset when Hillis went back home to Arkansas to get married last Tuesday when he should have been getting treatment on his hamstring.

Teammates apparently have been skeptical of Hillis ever since he sat out a game with strep throat on the advice of his agent, making it look like he sat out in protest of not having his contract extended.*

And: *This quote, from Joe Thomas to, kind of says it all:

“A few guys tried to talk to him, to make him understand the best way to go about things is to put your head down and do the best you possibly can. Because if the Browns aren’t going to pay you, some team will break the bank - and either way you need to play hard.”*