Browns General Manager Tom Heckert met with reporters this evening and declined to talk specifically about the organization's efforts to extend the contract of running back Peyton Hillis. Browns President Mike Holmgren told the Beacon Journal earlier this month that the team is trying to secure Hillis, whose rookie contract is set to expire after this season.
"Until we get a contract done with somebody, we're not gonna talk about it," Heckert said.
Hillis, who rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, is scheduled to make a base salary of $600,000 this season. When asked this afternoon about the status of his contract, Hillis said, "It's all in the good Lord's plan. It's out my control and it's up to the head man upstairs and what the Cleveland Browns think of me, so I'll take that approach with it, and if they want me here, then great. I'll just keep that attitude."
In the past four weeks, the Browns have signed offensive lineman Joe Thomas, tight end Evan Moore and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin to contract extensions. Heckert said middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson also is on the list of players whom the Browns would like to lock down with new deals.
"During the lockout when we were talking amongst ourselves just about how we were gonna spend the money we had available and who we were gonna go after on our team, we've talked to a few guys and there's some guys we're probably gonna talk to during the season," Heckert said. "But we're happy to have them. Obviously, we think they're really good players and to keep them here is a great thing for us."
Heckert said he decides on a case-by-case basis when the time is right to try to extend a player's contract.
"I think every case is different," Heckert said. "When I was in Philadelphia, we did guys real early with years left on their contracts and all kinds of stuff. I think there's different ways to do it. I wouldn't say we're gonna do it this way for every guy. I don't think that's the case. It's just I think individually you just make a decision on who you're gonna re-do and who you're gonna try to and who you're gonna wait till the end of the season and all that stuff."