Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Peyton Hillis signing is OK, I guess
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Running back is fast becoming one of the least glamorous positions in the NFL. And despite his star turn some years back as a "Madden" cover boy, Peyton Hillis is one of the least glamorous running backs in the NFL. So if you're not overly excited about the news that the New York Giants are expected to re-sign Hillis to a two-year deal, you're excused.
Thing is, these NFL rosters have 53 guys on them. Training camp rosters have even more. And only 22 of those guys are starters. You have to fill those other 31 spots somehow, and you can't fill them with Pro Bowlers. Hillis isn't being signed to be the Giants' starting running back. He's being signed because that's a position (as 2013 showed the Giants) at which you need to have depth. And the Giants had Hillis on the team last year and liked what he showed them, so they bring him back as a depth guy.
Could they do better? Eye of the beholder. There's a ton of running-back flotsam on the market, and just because you may like James Starks or Ronnie Brown or even Ahmad Bradshaw better than Hillis for a backup role doesn't mean Jerry Reese does or should agree with you. The Giants like Hillis, Hillis likes them and he fills a role.
I still expect the Giants, who can't be sure whether they can count on David Wilson for any number of reasons, to pursue a better running back than Hillis for the starter's role. Could be Andre Brown. Could be Knowshon Moreno. Could be Rashad Jennings. Again, any number of guys. The running back market is likely to move slowly, since teams don't like to pay big money for that position anymore. The Giants have other needs they're addressing in the meantime on the offensive line and in the secondary. But once they do get around to running back, having Hillis on board means they'll need one less than they did 24 hours ago.