Friday, February 22, 2013

Bills GM Nix: McKelvin a priority in free agency


Buffalo Bills cornerback/return man Leodis McKelvin certainly made some waves this year as the core of the special teams squad. Apparently, waves that big reach all the way up to the front office.

When speaking with Tim Graham of the Buffalo News on Thursday, Bills general manager Buddy Nix mentioned McKelvin as a must-have from the team’s free agent pool, seeing him as not only a key playmaker on returns but in the defensive backfield, as well.

"Leodis has got to have some help, but he's a big-time returner,” Nix said. “I think Leodis will be a candidate for that spot." (photo: Matt Britt, Flickr)

The spot Nix was referring to was the team’s No. 2 cornerback spot behind Stephon Gilmore, a spot mostly held by Aaron Williams when he was uninjured last season. And though Graham noted injury woes and inconsistency from McKelvin since his emergence into the league, Nix seems to see McKelvin’s defensive play and playmaking on special teams as a much bigger commodity at the moment.

"Aaron's coming along good, and he's going to be something that the coaches will decide where he best fits," Nix said. "But if I had to say right now [who the other starter is] on our roster between now and March 12, it'd be Leodis.”

McKelvin has only started 10 games in the past two seasons at cornerback, but as a return man had the 10th-best all-time punt return average last year at nearly 19 yards an attempt. He was the team’s 11th overall pick in 2008.

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