I would like to thank Pro Football Talk for being one of the first main media sources to come to the defense of running back Peyton Hillis, as they basically called the whole situation a "non-story." Actually, there is a story, but that involves the fact that Hillis and the Browns seem close to agreeing on the parameters of a new deal (at least on the total amount).
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a meeting between Hillis’ agent and the team occurred the day after the Miami game. And while progress still need to be made (not so much as to amount but as to structure and guarantee), there was no reason for Hillis to make any type of statement by shying away from playing.
Confirming this mindset on Friday was receiver Josh Cribbs, who said that the players aren’t questioning Hillis in any way. So even though it became a big story (especially in Cleveland), it’s apparently a non-story. Indeed, if the Browns had any reason to believe that Hillis didn’t play because of his contract, would team president Mike Holmgren agree to continue to have discussions on a long-term deal, at least until Hillis regains the franchise’s trust? We don’t think so.
Meanwhile, the Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi has been defending himself on Twitter. Some fans misinterpreted what Grossi said, believing he said Hillis was going to ask for a trade. In reality, Grossi was speculating that he thinks it looks like a trade request could be looming. I'm all for giving an opinion, but whether people like Grossi or not, he is still part of a powerful media outlet. As soon as I heard him mention "trade," no matter the context, I knew it would lead to more national headlines. I believe that is what resulted in the Twitter reactions from Hillis and Cribbs.
Grossi also responded to someone who appears to be a DBN fan:
TonyGrossi Tony Grossi
If you are not familiar with how Twitter works, JJSteele3 posted everything from "Comment" to "Denver?" and Grossi's response followed after the //.