The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to a deal with free agent Peyton Hillis. This will be the running back’s fourth different team and third different team in the last three seasons. Hillis is still chasing his career/breakout season from 2010 when he took the league by surprise on his way to 1,117 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. His efforts earned him the Madden cover the following year, but he hasn’t even come close to that level of production since.
At this point in his career Hillis is attractive to teams because of his size (6-1, 240 lbs.), and for the fact that he provides a great change of pace back. That’s exactly what the Buccaneers needed to compliment Doug Martin, thus why the signing of Hillis makes a lot of sense for them.
The pairing of Martin and Hillis could be a good one, but all Hillis is assured of at this point is a chance to compete for the backup role against Brian Leonard and Mike James. No matter the outcome of the training camp battle, though, Hillis is probably going to get some touches just because of size.
If you’re a Bucs’ fan you shouldn’t be overly excited by this signing, because there’s a reason Hillis hasn’t been inked until now. He’s averaged just 3.6 yards per carry over the past two seasons and his career has been on a downhill slide since 2010. It doesn’t mean that he can’t turn things around, it could just mean that he hasn’t found the right fit yet. I do expect him to win the backup role and fit in nicely behind Martin, while being a solid contributor for this Bucs team in 2013.
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