After already releasing two key veterans on defense in Nick Barnett and George Wilson, the Buffalo Bills cut 32-year-old cornerback Terrence McGee yesterday and saved $4.46 million in the process. McGee has had a history of injuries, and it has been about seven or eight seasons since McGee put in a full 16 games.
Although I was extremely critical of the release of Wilson, dropping this 32-year-old defensive back was a great move for the Bills and, in some fans eyes, long overdue. McGee could not come back from offseason knee surgery last season and barely played (seven games) last season. When he was on the field, McGee was just the No. 4 cornerback and looked old and ineffective. His run support looked significantly worse than it did in 2010 and 2011- a sign of either age or effects from injury- and his coverage ability was, for the second straight season, nothing to write home about. McGee looked very good in 2010 and mediocre in 2011, but he digressed in last year’s injury-plagued campaign by allowing a whopping 99.7 QB Rating on passes thrown at him, per the Pro Football Focus.
McGee will likely fare out better once he’s actually healthy, because there’s no doubt injuries also played a role in McGee’s ineffectiveness. But, looking at his career “chart”, it’s apparent that McGee is a declining player. After all, most 32-year-old CBs in this league are in a stage of decline, and the Bills made the right move for their franchise by releasing the veteran. He just doesn’t hold much value to this team anymore, and they shed a significant amount of cap in making the move. Some say that this move was long overdue, but I think it’s good that the Bills waited until now to make the move. He was actually somewhat decent a couple of years ago, but last season showed that McGee will continue to struggle to get healthy and will only get worse as a result of old age.
It is possible for McGee to latch onto a team this offseason on a one-year-deal, and I suspect that’s what will happen. He’ll likely sign with a team that needs veteran depth at the position, and McGee will only get one of those low-risk deals due to obvious health concerns that were part of the season why he was expendable to the Bills.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.