Strep-Gate continued in Cleveland where Peyton Hillis' new agent Kennard McGuire told the Associated Press that he advised his client not to play in the Browns' Sept.. 25 game against Miami because of strep throat.

Hillis' absence from the Browns lineup in a 17-16 victory that Sunday was not, however, connected to the fact that negotiations on a new long-term deal for the running back remain stuck in neutral.

"The game is physical enough, and the way Peyton plays the game, he needs all the elements of his physical game. Him being sick, and the level of his sickness, is the equivalent of being injured," McGuire said.."Not only could he have hurt himself but he could have hurt his team. Nobody embodies Cleveland like Peyton Hillis. If anyone wants to point a finger, point it at me."

"He's human, of course it's on his mind," said McGuire. "Would it affect him being a pro? No. Does he feel underappreciated? Yes. He's human. We all in life have a perceived value of our worth now, and he doesn't take for granted what he's earning now.

"But we do believe that he's deserving of something that mirrors his production of last year."

If there is any good news in all this, it is that another week of this story during Cleveland's bye week helps keep the focus off the fact that the Browns were shredded Sunday, 31-13, at home by the Tennessee Titans.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com