Today, Peyton Hillis signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. For a guy who brought attention back to the Cleveland Browns, was the first Brown on the cover of Madden, and was a great player to watch — I say good luck.
Romeo Crennel is a great coach, and Peyton left us in a non-Jamesesque way: meaning he wasn’t a douchebag about it. But the Browns not pursuing Hillis was the right decision.
Why? A couple reasons:
One is that he went from a rising star to somebody who is very dramatic and sometimes just plain erratic. Peyton Hillis became the Browns’ version of Michele Bachmann. She had headaches that prevented her from campaigning, Hillis couldn’t play because he had strep. It was speculated that Bachmann was pushing the rumor that she would be on American Idol. Similarly, it was speculated that Hillis was pushing a story that he was going to retire and join the CIA. Neither case was proven, but both stories are bizarre and not unrealistic. Many Browns fans think he became a drama queen after the Madden cover, and more trouble than he was worth.
Second, Peyton Hillis had one amazing year. That’s it. Take a look at the stats (below) and decide for yourself. One data point cannot make for a good prediction, but if you take into account other years, particularly 2011, there’s not much evidence to go on that Hillis would continue to do as well as he did in 2010. Though, it’s certainly possible.
So, yeah, while I was disappointed in him last year, I am glad that the Browns decided to let Hillis leave. I don’t dislike him personally, but the more I learned, the more I was convinced he wasn’t a long-term solution for Cleveland.
I think letting Hillis go, not taking the silly deal for RG3 and keeping Dawson show some improvement in the Browns’ decision making apparatus. Improvements are coming. Unless, of course, the fans call for blood and all of the decision makers get fired. If Browns fans called for change in their local/county government the way they do in Berea, Cleveland might not be such a dismal place.