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Report: Brown unlikely to use franchise tag on RB Hillis

After signing linebacker D'Qwell Jackson to a five-year, $42.5 million deal, the Cleveland Browns reportedly are not expected to use their franchise tag on running back Peyton Hillis.

The Plain Dealer reported the Browns are unlikely to levy the tag on Hillis after his disappointing 2011 season, but the team still would like to sign the 26-year-old Hillis before the free-agent period begins on March 13.

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After breaking out for 1,177 yards rushing and 477 yards receiving in 2010, Hillis spent much of last season squabbling over his contract. He then got hurt and played in only 10 games, finishing with 587 yards.

The franchise amount for running backs this offseason is between $7.7 million and $8 million.

Phil Dawson, who has been the Browns' kicker since 1999, is a candidate for the Browns' franchise tag (about $3.8 million), The Plain Dealer reported.

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