TAMPA BAY (Buccaneers.com) - On the eve of training camp, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive backfield is getting a significant shot of depth.
The Buccaneers announced on Tuesday afternoon the signing of running back Peyton Hillis to a one-year contract. The team reports to camp on Wednesday morning and will practice for the first time on Thursday.
To make room for Hillis on the 90-man camp roster, the Buccaneers released rookie running back Matt Brown. Brown, who played his college football at Temple, originally signed with the Buccaneers on May 30.
Hillis, originally a seventh-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2008, first developed as a starting fullback in Denver – his primary position in college at Arkansas – before a trade to Cleveland spurred his emergence as a prolific ballcarrier. In 2010, he started 14 games for the Browns and racked up 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns on 270 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per tote. That performance in the first of his two years in Cleveland prompted fans to choose him as the cover subject for EA Sports' Madden NFL 12 in a nationwide vote the following spring. Hillis missed six games in 2011 due to injuries but produced another 587 yards and three touchdowns on 161 carries. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 and contributed 309 rushing yards and 10 receptions for 62 yards.