Browns Unlikely to Franchise Hillis

By Mary Kay Cabot

Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who had a tumultuous 2011 season, is unlikely to be franchised by the Browns.

But they’ll still try to re-sign him before he hits the open market March 13 at 4 p.m.

Now that the Browns have signed linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to a five-year, $42.5 million deal, they can use the franchise tag on someone else. It’s doubtful the Browns will use it at all, but if they do, they’d be more likely to use it on kicker Phil Dawson than Hillis.

The franchise salary for Dawson in 2011 will be about $3.8 million, and for Hillis, it would be about $7.7 million to $8 million.

Teams must franchise players by March 5. If the Browns don’t use their tag, they can continue to negotiate with all their free agents before they hit the market on March 13.

The Browns are interested in re-signing Hillis after he finished the 2011 strong.  But the two sides were far apart when talks broke off midseason.

The Browns will also try to re-sign Dawson, as well as many of their other free agents, including Marcus Benard, Mike Adams and Dimitri Patterson.

Dawson said at the end of last season that he wasn’t sure he’d be back in Cleveland for a 14th season, but that he intended to continue playing.

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One Response to “Browns Unlikely to Franchise Hillis”

  1. Denolakes says:

    There is a core of good players being formed here . . . Joe Thomas, D’Qwell Jackson, Josh Cribbs, Joe Haden, Ahtyba Rubin, Jabaal Sheard — guys like T.J. Ward, Dimitri Patterson, Greg Little, Evan Moore, Alex Mack (and there are a few more) show signs of being very solid. Don’t know about Hillis — I would like to see him in Cleveland for awhile longer, but that may not happen. Regardless, recent draft choices are playing and contributing. Is Colt McCoy the guy under center? If I had to base it on last year alone, I would say probably not. But, put a solid running game in with a legitimate No.1 WR, he might be good enough to win consistently. RGIII would look good in a Cleveland uniform — but I am not convinced that grabbing him now is the best way for this team to go. Our history shows that QBs in bad circumstances do not fare well — and we would still be missing some of the key parts for at least one more year. The fact that there still is a debate about McCoy indicates to me that the QB question as to him is not resolved — even in the minds of doubters like me. I like his work ethic and attitude. Put the talent in this year and if it all collapses again next year, we will still be drafting high and can opt for a QB then. Moreover, we still could get Tannehill this without making any trade at all. We are not one player away, by any stretch — and we can get terrific players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

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