Buffalo Bills 28-year-old cornerback Leodis McKelvin wants to prove that he can contribute on defense going forward, and McKelvin actually showed some nice improvement in 2012. For maybe the first time in his entire career, the former first round draft choice out of Troy was not a liability in coverage. In addition to that, McKelvin was the best returner in the NFL last season and continues to be one of the league’s best special teams players.
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McKelvin and the Bills showed optimism with regards to getting a deal done, and they have indeed put pen to paper. However, it looks like a lopsided deal that makes McKelvin the clear winner, unless if he can further build on what he did last year. According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, the Bills have signed McKelvin to a four-year deal worth $20 million.
That’s an awful lot of money that the Bills are giving to a player who bases his game off of his contributions on special teams, and the only way giving McKelvin that kind of cash will be vindicated is if he can prove his worth as a starting cornerback in this league whether on the outside or in the slot. The Bills ran some sort of an in-season competition between McKelvin and Justin Rogers, and McKelvin actually thoroughly outplayed Rogers last season despite what some people say. McKelvin looked decent, whereas Rogers was regularly beat.
However, decent isn’t going to cut it under a $20 million deal. Even though McKelvin brings a ton of value to the table as a returner, he will still need to prove to the Bills that he can indeed be an above-average cornerback. We’ll see if McKelvin can continue to turn around his career at the age of 28, and he will be looking to shed the “bust” label. McKelvin is adamant that he can help out the Bills on defense and not just on special teams, and it sounds like the Bills believe him. Either way, he is arguably the best returner in the game today and is ridiculously good on punt returns. The negotiations reportedly started just two days ago, so the Bills must really believe in McKelvin in order to agree on this large of a deal so quickly.
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