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Evan Silva's breakdown of RB FA/trade/franchise candidates

3

A pretty in-depth rundown of every running back that could reasonably find a new team for next year, including trade candidates. On Hillis: --------------------------------- Scouting Report: A slightly souped-up version of Bush, Hillis goes 6-foot-2, 250 and displays impressive versatility for a power runner. Hillis has 83 catches over the past two seasons, and is the rare back with size to counter defensive ends and 3-4 linebackers in pass protection. It's fair to argue that Hillis' monster 2010 season (270/1,177/4.4/11) may be indicative of a one-year wonder, however. Dating back to the stretch run of that year, Hillis has managed just 635 yards and three touchdowns on 179 carries (3.55 YPC) in his last 12 games. During that span, he's battled ribs, knee, elbow, hip, and recurring hamstring injuries. Hillis was rumored to let a contract issue affect his 2011 performance. He has nine fumbles in two years. Availability: The Browns won't tag Hillis, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported in late January that the team has renewed interest in re-signing him. While speculation has linked the Redskins to Hillis because of his background with Mike Shanahan, keep in mind that Shanahan drafted Hillis to play fullback, and he was almost strictly a lead blocker in Denver, carrying the football only in short-yardage situations. Staying in Cleveland still makes the most sense for Hillis because the Browns do view him as a tailback, and Montario Hardesty has proven both ineffective and injury prone. A one-year, "prove-it" contract would work well for both parties. Hillis is still only 26, so he could reenter the market in 2012 after a healthy, productive season. Prediction: Browns on a one-year, $5 million contract. ----------------------------------- Plenty of intriguing names on pages 2 and 3 of the report as well.

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