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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Mike Lombardi says Browns right to wait on Hillis deal

By Marla Published: October 30, 2011

Forner Browns director of football operations Mike Lombardi endorsed team president Mike Holmgren's handling of the Peyton Hillis contract negotiations Sunday on the NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning."

Lombardi said there's no need for the Browns to rush to wrap up a new deal for Hillis, who is sitting out his third game of the season today at San Francisco with a hamstring injury. The Madden 12 cover boy has totalled for 211 yards (3.5 average) on the ground after amassing 1,177 last season.

"What Mike Holmgren has done; he’s backed away, not because Peyton Hillis has fired all his agents, but because you need consistency before you get rewarded with a contract," Lombardi said. "Matt Forte wants a new contract, he’s playing lights out. Hillis wants a new contract, he’s got strep throat, he’s got a hamstring problem, he’s got one year of on-the-field production. Holmgren is doing the right thing in my mind; back off, let this thing play out. Let Hillis focus on being a productive player before we reward him with a huge contract just because he was on Madden 2012."

On the same show, the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora said the possible hiring of Bill Cowher as the next coach of the Miami Dolphins could weaken the Pittsburgh Steelers front office. LaCanfora said Cowher could take the Steelers' Omar Kahn, the director of business and administration, with him to south Florida.

"Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has not directly called Bill Cowher or his agents, but associates of Ross have contacted Cowher’s agents to begin a little preliminary gauging of interest," LaCanfora said. "There is mutual interest between both parties and I do believe ultimately Cowher will end up being the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins, particularly with Jon Gruden staying in the broadcast booth, but there will be some potential hurdles.

"Carl Peterson, longtime associate of Ross, former president of the Kansas City Chiefs, what’s his role in all this, if any? Can Cowher bring in all the people with him that he’d like to bring? And there is always money, although I do expect Ross to spend big. Omar Khan of the Pittsburgh Steelers is very likely to end up wherever Cowher is to help run that front office. Tom Moore, another name to keep an eye on, could be a part of Cowher’s offensive staff; we know how long he was with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis."




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