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Report: Browns' Hillis contemplated retirement for CIA

  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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Peyton Hillis' future with the Browns has moved from a gray area to a zip code somewhere deep in the middle of Strange Town.

As expected, Cleveland will not place the franchise tag on the running back, ESPN reported Thursday, citing a source familiar with the situation.

But that's just the start of it.

After contemplating retirement from football at the end of last season, Hillis pondered -- for a brief moment -- a career in the CIA, team sources told ESPN.

Hillis undercover? Very problematic. The bruiser is 6-foot-2, 250 pounds and the cover boy of "Madden NFL 12," not exactly the top choice to wander the streets as a ghost figure.

INTEROFFICE MEMO /// EYES-ONLY /// PLEASE WELCOME AGENT PEYTON HILLIS TO OUR ISLAMABAD DESK. HILLIS WILL WORK DEEP COVER AS A LOCAL FARMER IN THE POPPY FIELDS, GARNERING ASSETS AND REPORTING DIRECTLY TO LANGLEY.

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Don't think so, even after a bizarre 2011 season in which Hillis fought through injuries and reports of locker-room discord.

"If we can work something out with Peyton (Hillis), we will," Browns general manager Tom Heckert told ESPN on Wednesday. "Did he have some rough patches during the season? Yes. Were there stretches where things were blown out of proportion? Yes. Honestly, I feel like a lot of that was blown up in the media. Now, of course things will still come down to the money, but we'll just have to wait and see."

On the heels of reportedly firing his fourth agent, Kennard McGuire, Hillis will test the open market come March 13. Another strange chapter for the bruising back, more lost dreams for Browns fans -- and another another mystery wrapped in a riddle for our intelligence community.

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