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Hillis describes lowball offer from Browns

Peyton Hillis

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2011, file photo, Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis watches from the sideline during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. After all the drama triggered by his quarrel with Browns management over a new contract, his controversial decision to sit out a game with strep throat on the advice of his agent, the nagging hamstring injury that caused him to miss five straight games, his awkward rapport with teammates and his perhaps too-little-too-late flourish to end the season, Hillis now thinks he may be the latest player to suffer the cover curse of the best-selling videogame, “Madden NFL 12.” (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)


Running back Peyton Hillis remains interested in staying with the Browns. Hillis told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’s willing to give the team a “hometown discount"; he shared with Cabot an offer the Browns made last year that seems to be only a step or two removed from a “five-finger discount.”

Hillis said the Browns proposed $25 million or $26 million over four or five years. While the question of whether the offer covered four or five years has a fairly significant impact on the annual average, it’s the average in the first three years that makes the offer one heck of a bargain for the Browns.

Hillis claims the contract would have paid out $1.2 million per year for the first three years. “It wasn’t the money, it’s just how it was structured,” Hillis said.

He’s right. Given the nature of the running back position, if less than $4 million was being paid in the first three years with a balloon payment in the final one or two, Hillis never would have seen the back end of the deal. And so it’ll be interesting to see the specific structure of the deal, if the Browns eventually make Hillis an offer he doesn’t refuse.