Peyton Hillis is a former American football running back. Peyton Hillis played in the National Football League (NFL). He also played for teams like Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New York Giants. At present, he is already retired from the football game.
Table of Biography
Early Life and Childhood
Peyton Hillis was born on 21 January 1986 as Peyton Derek Hillis. His current age is 34 years and he is originally from Conway, Arkansas. His parents are father Doug Hillis and mother Carrie Hillis. Similarly, he has a brother named Kyle Hillis and they have Scottish-Irish ancestry.
Moreover, talking about his educational journey, he attended Conway High School in Conway, Arkansas and he was a highly touted recruit. He then attended the University of Arkansas where he was primarily used as a fullback. More precisely, he attended college at the University of Arkansas from 2004 to 2008. He majored in Sociology. As a true freshman, he gained 240 yards rushing, 97 yards receiving and scored eight touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the SEC in total touchdowns and tying Georgia’s Thomas Brown for most touchdowns scored by an SEC freshman that year.
Likewise, during his sophomore year, he accounted for 947 all-purpose yards including more than 200 in kick-off and punt returns. He also accounted for seven touchdowns while also serving as a blocker for up-and-coming star running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.
Career and Professional Life
Peyton is a former American football running back. He played in the National Football League (NFL). After being drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, he rose to the top of the depth chart as the starting fullback for the Denver Broncos. Due to injuries to the running back corps, Hillis became the starting running back. After spending two years in Denver, Hillis traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2010. Then in 2011, he won a nationwide vote which put him on the cover of EA Sports’ Madden NFL 12 video game.
Denver Broncos selected Peyton Hillis with the 20th pick in the seventh round, i.e. 227th overall of the 2008 NFL Draft. He also received his college number, i.e. 22. At the start of the 2008 season, Broncos listed him as its fullback. Then he played in his first NFL regular-season game on 8 September 2008.
He gained 14 yards on three rushing attempts and four yards on one reception as part of a 41–14 Broncos road victory over the Oakland Raiders. Later in the season, he recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game with seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in a 26–17 Broncos home loss to the Miami Dolphins on November 2, 2008.
Following an injury to Ryan Torain in the Broncos 34–30 comeback road victory over the Cleveland Browns, he was named Denver’s starting running back. Two weeks later, he recorded his first 100-yard rushing game with 129 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts in a 34–17 road victory over the New York Jets. However, the season already plagued with running back injuries continued, with he suffering a season-ending injury in a 24–17 home win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Game details with Broncos
Coming down from an acrobatic catch of a Cutler pass, he was hit from both sides by Chiefs’ free safety Jarrad Page and cornerback Brandon Carr. He had his right foot planted. The hit doubled Hillis over, causing a 2–3 inches tear in his right hamstring behind the knee, which forced him to miss the rest of the season. Despite his limited playing time, he ended the 2008 season as the Broncos’ leading rusher with 343 yards and 5 touchdowns and was expected to return as a significant offensive presence for the 2009 season.
He expressed his disappointment over his playing time on the season. He did so during a post-season interview. However, he remained tight-lipped about the controversy, maintaining that conversations between him and McDaniels were “friendly”. In the same interview, he was quoted as saying his future in Denver was “up in the air”. On 14 March 2010, the Broncos traded him to the Cleveland Browns along with a sixth-round pick in the 2011 Draft and a conditional pick in the 2012 Draft. They traded him in exchange for quarterback Brady Quinn.
During the 2010 preseason, the Browns distributed snaps evenly between Peyton Hillis, Jerome Harrison, James Davis, Chris Jennings, and Montario Hardesty. His best pre-season rushing game came in Week 2 against the St. Louis Rams. While getting the majority of the snaps, he ran for 51 yards on 12 carries (4.3 ypc).
As the regular season began, his start in Cleveland began much the same way as it did in Denver. He listed down the depth chart at both tight end and fullback. Just like his start in Denver, his early-season injuries and another to Davis thrust him into the starting spot for the Week 3 game versus the Baltimore Ravens. Their result was a 144-yard romp against the Ravens’ staunch rushing defense, which allowed just 3.4 yards per carrying in the 2009 season.
The next week, he again ran for over 100 yards at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. This led the Browns to their first victory in the 2010 regular season. He suffered a thigh injury in practice and hence this limited him in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. Nevertheless, he added a 19-yard reception for a touchdown, making him the first Browns player since Greg Pruitt to record touchdowns in five consecutive games.
Moreover, coming off a bye week in Week 8, he set career marks in both rushing and all-purpose yards against the New England Patriots in Week 9. They finished the game with 184 rushing yards (6.5 ypc) and 220 yards of total offense. Following this game, he was named “AFC Offensive Player of the Week” for Week 9. It was the first Cleveland Browns running back to win that honor since Eric Metcalf in 1992.
More insights with Cleveland
Similarly, in week 12, he joined Marshall Faulk as the only players to have achieved more than 130 yards rushing, 3 rushing touchdowns, and 60 yards receiving in a single game. Then on 12 December 2010, he went over the 1,000-yard mark on an 8-yard rush. He became the first white running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in an NFL season since Craig James of the New England Patriots in 1985.
Due to his breakout season, he was the Browns finalist in the Madden NFL 12 cover vote. After defeating Ray Rice, Matt Ryan, and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, he advanced to the finals where he faced off against Michael Vick. On 27 April 2011, they announced him as the cover athlete for the game, beating out Vick with 66 percent of the vote.
Further, he had a difficult 2011–12 season. This led him to be associated with the Madden Curse, a history of poor performance by athletes after appearing on the Madden cover. The season began with unsuccessful negotiations to extend his contract. He had a good game in a Week 2 match-up with the Indianapolis Colts, running for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he then sat out a game the next week against the Miami Dolphins with strep throat on the advice of his agent.
Similarly, he then injured his hamstring 2 times. Once in a game and once in practice. This limited his performance and in turn, this frustrated his teammates. He rebounded towards the end of the season, rushing for 99 yards in Arizona and 112 in Baltimore to finish with 587 and 3 touchdowns. At the end of the year, he stated he wanted to re-sign with the Browns, even willing to offer a hometown discount. However, the Browns never made him an offer. They allowed him to leave as a free agent to Kansas City.
On the 14th of March 2012, Peyton Hillis signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished the 2012 season with 309 yards on 85 carries as a backup to Jamaal Charles. On July 23, 2013, Hillis signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was announced on September 21, 2013, that Hillis had been released by the Buccaneers. His Buccaneers career ended with one game active, no carries no catches, and no offensive yards.
On 16 October 2013, the New York Giants announced they had signed him for the 2013–14 season. On 11 March 2014, the Giants gave him a $1.8 million contract extension for two more years. Before the start of the 2014 season, Hillis agreed to change his number from #44 to #33, so that rookie Andre Williams could wear the number he wore in college. He wore #33 while he was in training camp with the Buccaneers. Then on 25 February 2015, the Giants announced the release of Hillis.
He retired in 2015, at his doctor’s behest due to his history of concussions and the potential of future injury. He also claimed in an interview, “as far as NFL football goes, my heart’s just not in it anymore.”
After his retirement in 2015, he appeared on the NFL talk show titled “Peyton’s Places”. He was the host of the show in the year 2019.
Peyton Hillis is a married man and his wife is Amanda Brown. The lovers tied the knot on 24 October 2011. Similarly, they have a son named Orry and who was born in June 2013. The family lives on their 1,300-acre soybean farm in southwestern Tennessee. Moreover, he endorsed Ron Paul during the 2012 presidential election.
Talking about his body measurement stats, he stands the height of 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs around 113 kgs. Other than these, there is no information regarding his chest-waist-hip, biceps, dress size, shoe size, etc. Moreover, he has dark brown eyes and hair of the same color.
Social Media and Net Worth
Peyton Hillis joined Twitter in July 2011. His account @thepeytonhillis has over 35.6k followers as of April 2020. Other than Twitter, he doesn’t seem available on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
Moving on, his net worth estimation is around $5 million. As a host of the “Peyton’s Places”, he earns at the range of $31k to $121k. Similarly, he also earns through commercials and the promotion of products.
Talking in more detail about his contracts, he earned an average of $860k or above while he played football. Before retiring from the NFL, he and the New York Giants had a contract worth $1.8 million. At the time, his base salary was $730,000k aside from $100,000 as his injured reserve.