BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas called former teammate Peyton Hillis ``a terrible distraction'' last season, and said the running back put his contract situation ahead of the team.
Hillis is returning to play in Cleveland this week with the Kansas City Chiefs. Thomas unloaded Wednesday on Hillis, saying he didn't always play hard and called his time with the Browns ``toxic.''
Thomas said Hillis ``wasn't real popular around here the way he went about his business'' and that ``he just wouldn't listen to anybody.''
Hillis sat out a game with strep throat last season on the advice of his agent. He also missed several games with a hamstring injury and his quest for a new contract with the Browns was always an issue.
Hillis signed as a free agent with Kansas City in the offseason. He had a breakout season in 2010-11 for the Browns and former coach Eric Mangini. He carried the ball 270 times for 1,177 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. He played in all 16 games that season, but made it into just 10 last season.
He finished with 587 yards rushing last year, on 161 carries. He scored just three times and worked his way out of favor with the team.
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