Peyton Hillis’ time in Cleveland did not end well.
Hillis, who began his career as a FB with the Denver Broncos, was traded to the Browns for QB Brady Quinn. Shortly thereafter, Hillis had a breakout season for Cleveland, rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 TDs in 2010. He also had 61 receptions for 477 yards and two TDs. Hillis became so popular in Cleveland that he landed on the cover of the popular Madden NFL Football video game franchise.
And then the dreaded “Madden Curse” struck. Hillis’ final year in Cleveland was a disaster. He missed multiple games with injuries and faced criticism for his attitude in a much-publicized contract dispute with the Browns. At the end of the 2011, the Browns allowed Hillis to move on and he landed in Kansas City.
This week, for no apparent reason, other than perhaps because he was asked about it, Browns LT Joe Thomas decided to start taking shots at Hillis.
“I think it was better for both sides,” Thomas said of Hillis leaving the Browns. “At that point, the situation with him here was toxic. He didn’t want to be here, and players didn’t want him here and it’s better just for a fresh start at that point.”
Thomas also went on to call Hillis a “terrible distraction.”
“He crippled our offense because we ended up signing (Chris Ogbonnaya) off the street in the middle of the year, and he ended up getting hurt. We were struggling to find anybody who could carry the ball after all the injuries we had. To have Peyton going through a contract dispute and basically refusing to play, it was a big distraction.”
For his part, Hillis didn’t take Thomas’ words lying down. He fired back on Thursday.
“Joe Thomas, he can have his opinions all he wants,” Hillis said. “It’s kind of like a crazy ex-girlfriend, you know? It’s been over a year. Get over it. But I don’t know. I guess when you get paid over $100 million by one team, it’s kind of easy to point the finger at another guy and hate on him for trying to get another contract.”
First, the crazy ex-girlfriend comment is hilarious.
Second, what is Thomas’ problem? It seems to me like he is mad at Hillis for being unprofessional during his last year in Cleveland. That is fine but calling out ex-teammates publicly a year later is just as unprofessional.
Hillis may have made a mistake in Cleveland by the way he behaved but since coming to Kansas City there haven’t been any issues. We all make mistakes and for Thomas to go out in the media to slam Hillis now is kind of low-class if you ask me.
I wonder if the Chiefs will give Hillis a few extra looks this Sunday?