Back in November, the Cleveland Browns were ready to let running back Peyton Hillis finish out his contract at season's end and find his way to another team's roster, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Hillis, who rushed for 587 yards and three touchdowns last season, had missed five games due to a hamstring injury and had done a few things that had bugged team management, such as skipping a game due to strep throat.
Since then, though, Hillis "worked his way back into the team's good graces over the final six weeks of the season, a league source" tells the paper. The team has till March 13 to sign him without other teams being able to bid on him.
"I'll tell you what, Peyton and I had a great conversation yesterday," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said a day after the season ended, the Plain Dealer reports. "He's an all-star player who was dealing with injury in the middle part of the year and then came back, and I really liked what he did at the end of the season."
The Browns "are not believed to have had any contact with Hillis' agent, Kennard McGuire, since midway through the season, but are expected to contact most of the agents over the next month or so," the Plain Dealer notes.