First Peyton Hillis was a pleasant surprise for Cleveland, rushing for 1,177 yards and scoring 13 times in 2010, a year that he began with just 397 career rushing yards. Then he was a disgruntled liability, and was sidelined by multiple injuries this year, and his generally gloomy demeanor prompted an intervention by his teammates.
The Browns didn’t re-sign or franchise Hillis, and now the pain he brought both physically and mentally to the locker room is officially gone. He’s signed with the Chiefs, where he’ll replace Jackie Battle as Jamaal Charles’ backup, and he’ll do it for just $3 million on a one-year contract, according to Adam Schefter.
Browns fans are already wishing Hillis well on his future endeavors in KC, his new football home where he’ll be re-connected with Brian Daboll, the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator who held the same position two years ago during the 26-year-old’s breakout season. It’s Daboll’s presence that made Kansas City a blatantly obvious landing spot for Hillis, in addition to Charles and his continued recovery from a torn ACL early in Week 2.
Charles’ injury meant the Chiefs were eying a running back who could do more than just be a change of pace runner. They needed an experienced runner who could shoulder a little more of the load, and Hillis’ familiarity with Daboll’s system easily won him the job.
He may be coming off of a frustrating season, but Hillis still hasn’t faced much serious pounding, and now the Chiefs have bought themselves a relatively cheap opportunity to have Daboll revive the form he showed that led to 1,654 all-purpose yards two years ago.