Dec. 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis (40) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign Running Back Peyton Hillis To A One Year Contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and veteran running back Peyton Hillis have agreed to a one year contract, as first reported by Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida.

It was reported yesterday that Hillis was going to work out with the Buccaneers, and the fact that he and the team have so quickly come to an agreement is a positive sign that Hillis is in some form of “football shape.” Hillis will join Brian Leonard, Michael Smith, and Mike James as the competitors for the backup running back job behind Doug Martin.

Hillis entered the NFL in 2008 after a productive career at Arkansas, where he was a versatile fullback in a high-powered offense. He has always shown the ability to catch the football out of the backfield, in addition to running the ball with power and surprising quickness. During his NFL career, he has 111 catches for 867 yards and 3 scores, while rushing for 2470 yards on 4.1 yards per carry, scoring 21 times on the ground.

He fell off the map after a breakout season in 2010, adding more fuel to the “Madden Curse” fire. He has struggle to stay healthy over the past two seasons, and has reportedly had some issues in the locker room.

The fact that he has signed a deal in Tampa is encouraging, which might mean he’s heading in the right direction in terms of his attitude. But he’ll have to stay healthy and regain his running form from his time in Denver and his first year in Cleveland to make an impact in Tampa Bay.

Should he be anything like the player worthy of the Madden cover, the Buccaneers will have an incredibly deep backfield. But if he is just a shell of his former self, he’ll struggle to make the roster. At this point, we’re simply going to have to wait and see.

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