New York Giants Release Running Back Peyton Hillis


The New York Giants continue to reshape thier running back position and shave money off their 2015 salary cap number

With all of the focus being on the defense of the New York Giants this offseason, there is still some work to be done offensively. They signed an offensive lineman that could have some potential from Canada in Brett Jones, and today they continued to reshape their running back position. After releasing David Wilson earlier in the offseason, a procedural move since Wilson retired because of neck injuries, the Giants have now also released Peyton Hillis.

Hillis was signed during the 2013 season by the Giants out of necessity, as the Giants were decimated by injuries at the running back spot. Hillis performed admirably as a street free agent, even starting a handful of games for the Giants before his season was ended because of concussions.

2014 Hillis’ numbers improved, as his yards per rush increased to 4.4 from 3.4 and his yards per receptions increased to 8.7 from 7.6. Unfortunately for Hillis and the Giants, it was in a small sample size again, as Hillis’ 2014 season was cut short once again by a concussion.

This was a no-brainer move for the Giants, as they will save $945,000 releasing Hillis. Coupled with the release of longtime Giant Mathias Kiwanuka on Tuesday, the Giants have found themselves with an extra nearly $6 million in cap space.

The seven-year veteran Hillis has never been able to repeat his performance from 2010, when he ran for a career-high 1,177 yards with 11 touchdowns, adding 61 receptions as well. That season was as fluky as any in recent history though, as Hillis has only 1,646 yards rushing the other six seasons in his career with 12 touchdowns to go with 73 receptions.

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For the Giants, this paves the way for second-year running back Andre Williams. He will be locked and loaded as their big back and early down running back. Williams struggled in his own right when leaned on heavily, but right now he will be right in line with Rashad Jennings for work out of the Giants backfield. Expect the Giants to add some at least one more piece to their backfield as the offseason progresses though, as they still need that home run threat, like what they envisioned for Wilson being last season.

For Hillis, this could very well be the end of his career. Dealing with concussions is never an easy thing, and now having two consecutive seasons ended by one could have him seriously considering hanging up his cleats. If Hillis does indeed hang it up, he had a strong career for a former seventh round pick, punctuated by his appearance on the cover of Madden 12 after his 1,277 rushing yard season.

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