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The Hillis Identity: Running back of CIA agent?

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Peyton Hillis (Getty Images)

In a brief article noting that the Cleveland Browns won't use the franchise tag to keep Peyton Hillis, ESPN's Adam Schefter also casually mentions that Hillis also considered walking away from football to become a CIA agent. Cook it up, Schef:

Throughout the past season, Hillis has wavered about whether he wants to continue playing football, and even considered joining the CIA, according to team sources.

It is unclear if he actually pursued a career with the CIA.

I'm not even sure what to say to that. I feel like just leaning on the question mark key for about 25 seconds and leaving it at that. Peyton Hillis wants to be a CIA agent, Tiger Woods wants to be a Navy SEAL … what's next? Ben Roethlisberger wants to be on the United Nations Security Council? Michael Crabtree wants to be the cultural attaché to Portugal?

Perhaps more than a fascination with the CIA, it's a disillusionment in football. Schefter also says that Hillis has had his mind on retirement before.

But Hillis has felt defeated throughout his time in football, whether it was being benched at Arkansas in favor of Felix Jones and Darren McFadden, being traded away from the Denver Broncos, or being unable to procure the long-term deal he desired in Cleveland. It led him to tell Cleveland's coaches that he didn't know whether he wanted to play football anymore.

Now Hillis is about to become a free agent and test his value on the open market.

Whata wonderful thing to let everyone know just as he hits free agency ‒ that he might not love football at all. I'm sure that'll help convince someone to give him a big, long-term deal.

As for the CIA thing, I'm pretty sure you can't just "join" the CIA like it's a Wednesday night bowling league. Just having an interest is not enough. For example, I'd like to be Batman, but I'm pretty sure someone's going to object if I put on tights and start punching people I believe to be criminals. I assume Hillis, if it's something he really wants, has some qualifications for it, or is prepared to procure those qualifications. All I know of his background is that he majored in sociology at Arkansas.

I hope he finds his happiness, whether it's busting heads in football or busting heads for the CIA. I'm curious to see what kind of contract offer he'll get when free agency hits.

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