Buccaneers sign RB Peyton Hillis

7/23/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Just two years ago, things were going great for running back Peyton Hillis. He was set to be featured on the cover of Madden 2012, was coming off a great season with the Cleveland Browns (1,177 rushing yards, 61 receptions, 13 total touchdowns), and was entering a contract year hoping to earn some big money on a new deal.

However, the well-documented Madden curse didn't just leave Hillis with sprained knee or a broken foot - it completely derailed his career. Hillis has missed nine games over the past two seasons with a mark of 3.64 yards per carry during that span. He was simply ineffective even when healthy last season with the Kansas City Chiefs.Blog Photo - Buccaneers sign RB Peyton Hillis

Hillis hit the 2013 free agent market as a player generating little-to-no interest initially, but it always seemed likely that he'd latch on somewhere to compete for a roster spot eventually, and he finally has.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Hillis to a one-year contract on Tuesday. He'll be thrown into the mix with Michael Smith, Mike James, and Brian Leonard to compete for the opportunity to backup Doug Martin. Hillis could also likely earn a roster spot by proving to be a more effective fullback than Leonard. The Bucs reportedly view Hillis as a runner who can play both halfback and fullback, which improves his chances of making the team. A spot on the 53-man roster come Week 1, however, is far from a sure thing.

Hillis is unlikely to be worth drafting in fantasy leagues even if he makes the final roster - that is, unless he surprisingly turns his career around and earns the primary backup job behind Martin. In that case, he would be worth grabbing as a handcuff for Martin owners, who likely grabbed the young runner in the first round.
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