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Hillis insists the talks aren’t putting any extra pressure on him to perform.

“I wouldn’t say weighing on me. I’d rather say just being patient,” he said. “I’ve got to be patient and ultimately the decision’s not up to me. You’ve got to go out there and play your best. It’s about what you do on the football field.”

Part of Hillis‘ frustration stems from the Browns taking care of other players.

The team has signed several of its young “core” to extensions, and to this point, Hillis isn’t one of them. In the past two months, Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Thomas, tight end Evan Moore, defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin and linebacker Chris Gocong have received new deals.

Team president Mike Holmgren recently said the Browns were “trying like crazy” to sign Hillis, a comment that may have led to unrealistic expectations around the talks.

McGuire has remained in “close contact” with the Browns throughout the season, but the sides remain apart. Hillis said he doesn’t know where things stand at the moment and his only focus is getting ready for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

“Perception is reality,” he said. “People take what they want to from things. I feel I play hard every time I step on the field. I think everyone can see that I give my full effort, so whatever people think that’s their opinion, but it really doesn’t affect me.”

Although Hillis‘ situation has been a constant around the team, Moore said it’s not a distraction.

He believes it will all go away.

Peyton and those guys upstairs will get the situation handled the right way,” Moore said. “It’s definitely not for us to concern ourselves with. If we start to get involved with that, we can quickly be told to keep our mouths shut and go back to work. We all have a job to do and that’s definitely not our job to worry about that.

Peyton will be fine. They’ll get that thing worked out.”