Chiefs Sign Peyton Hillis: Grading the Team's First Big Addition for 2012 Season

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IMarch 14, 2012

Former Brown Peyton Hillis will wear the red and gold next season.
Former Brown Peyton Hillis will wear the red and gold next season.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Earlier tonight, the Kansas City Chiefs landed their first free agent signing since they acquired former Raiders CB Stanford Routt last month.

The man that they signed was none other than ex-Browns RB Peyton Hillis.

His new deal with the Chiefs will net him $3 million for one year with the team.

Hillis was on his way out of Cleveland this offseason after having issues with the team last year.

With KC needing a bruiser-type back to complement star Jamaal Charles next season, they decided that the former Arkansas Razorback was their choice.

This is a low-risk, high-reward signing for KC, considering that they gave him a short-term deal and he is just two years removed from a season where he nearly rushed for 1,200 yards and scored 13 touchdowns for the Browns offense.

The Conway, Arkansas native will likely be Charles' backup in Kansas City next season, and the duo has the potential to be one of the best RB tandems in the league.

Because of his massive size for the RB position, he should frequently be used in short yardage and goal-line situations for the Chiefs in 2012.

This was an area that Kansas City has had problems with in the past, as they have had to rely on the smaller Charles and the aging Thomas Jones on third downs and near the goal-line as well.

By adding Hillis, KC no longer has to be as concerned about this anymore, as they will have a more than capable back to plug into those situations for this season.

His presence alone will help out Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and the passing game by making defenses respect them more.

However, Hillis remains a risk because he did have a disappointing '11 campaign.

He never seemed to be on the same page with the Browns brass last season, and this affected his play on the field as well, as he only rushed for 587 yards and had an anemic 3.6 YPC average for the year.

It's unclear whether it was Hillis or the Browns causing all of the problems last season, but at least that is in his past for now.

Joining the Chiefs could be the change of scenery that the former seventh-round pick of the Broncos needs at this point.

All in all, it was a good move by KC, as they have addressed a position of need and upgraded their ground game as well.

I would give this signing an A grade, but when I factor in Hillis' struggles last season, it brings down the grade some.

Grade: B