Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis sits on the bench late in the team's 31-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in an NFL football game in Cleveland.
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BEREA, Ohio — Browns running back Peyton Hillis is beginning to wonder and worry if he has a future with Cleveland past the next 12 games.
Hillis said Monday he has no regrets about sitting out Cleveland's game on Sept. 25 against Miami with strep throat, a decision — reached with advice from his agent — that fueled speculation he missed the game to protest not getting a contract extension from the Browns.
Hillis, who rushed for nearly 1,200 yards last season, is making $600,000 in the final year of his contract.
His agent, Kennard McGuire, and the team have not been able to work out a new deal. Hillis said he wants to stay in Cleveland, but is beginning to doubt he'll be with the Browns beyond 2011.
"Whenever something's not set in stone, then I guess anything is possible, which means your career's not here," he said. "So, yeah, that definitely worries me."
Last week, McGuire, told the Associated Press that he cautioned his client not to play for fear Hillis had been weakened by the illness and could have gotten hurt. However, Hillis said he probably would not have played even with the advice and that he "did the right thing for myself and the right thing for the team."
"I am stubborn and I am hardheaded, and I like to go out there and play even though I was probably not up for it," said Hillis, who conducted an 11-minute interview with his fists clenched and his arms folded.
Hillis said he has no bitterness toward Browns coach Pat Shurmur. He also believes team president Mike Holmgren's comment that the Browns were "trying like crazy" to sign him to an extension may have played a role in blowing the negotiations out of proportion.