The Cleveland Browns were widely expected to use their franchise tag on linebacker D'Qwell Jackson but they were able to ink him to a longterm contract, which made the franchise tag available again. Some thought the tag could go to running back Peyton Hillis, but ESPN reports they won't be using the tag on him. Previous reports had indicated it was unlikely he would get the tag anyway.
This means Hillis will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13 and available to sign with any team.
Where the story gets bizarre is that ESPN reports Hillis considered retirement after last season. And, even more bizarre, is that Hillis considered joining the CIA.
That's strange and it won't help his market in free agency. Teams usually don't like to commit to players who have recently considered retirement.
There will be a market for Hillis, though probably not at the money he's seeking. There were reportedly some issues in Cleveland last season with Hillis seeking a longterm deal. That deal obviously never came,and now he'll hit the open market to get paid.
It's still possible he returns to Cleveland, but he'll at least be able to test the waters.