ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Kansas City's first deal of free agency. After 26 hours of waiting for the Chiefs to make a deal, general manager signed former Browns and Broncos running back Peyton Hillis to a one-year deal worth $3 million.
After seeing several players land big contracts this offseason, Scott Pioli was able to sign a player for a very low price.
After Thomas Jones posted a 3.7 yard per carry average in 2010 and a 3.1 in 2011, the Chiefs realized that they must seek a new powerback to play alongside Jamaal Charles when he makes his return. Hillis put up a 3.6 yard per carry average in his setback season with the Browns. Can he do better in Kansas City?
The Chiefs are obviously hoping for Hillis to have a similar season like he did in 2010 where he was able to break through for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Hillis may not have a 1,000 yard-season now that he will be sharing the backfield with Charles. If the Chiefs improve their offensive line, however, rushing for 1,000 yards is an attainable task for both tailbacks.
In 2010, Charles rushed for over 1,400 yards despite receiving fewer carries. Jones fell 104 yards short of 1,000 rushing yards that season.
With an improved offensive line, Hillis and Charles will be the key players in helping the offense prevent three-and-outs.
Another big benefit in having Hillis join the Chiefs is that he will reunite with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Daboll witnessed Hillis have his breakthrough season before him.
If Hillis can play better than Jones did in 2010, Kansas City will return to being the top rushing team in the league and possibly contend for the AFC West title.