Thursday, December 20, 2012
Is Leodis McKelvin done in Buffalo?
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills announced Thursday that cornerback and return specialist Leodis McKelvin was put on injured reserve with a groin injury.
That ends the former first-round pick's 2012 season. But the bigger question is this: Has McKelvin played his last game in a Bills uniform?
McKelvin is completing the final year of his rookie contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in March. He's had an up-and-down five seasons in Buffalo. McKelvin never developed into the shutdown corner the Bills were looking for, but he greatly exceeded expectations on special teams.
McKelvin is one of the NFL's top kick returners. He leads the NFL in punt return average (18.7) and punt returns for touchdowns (two). McKelvin also has a impressive 28.3 yard average on kickoff returns.
But is McKelvin's production on special teams enough for Buffalo to bring him back? McKelvin has struggled at cornerback the past five seasons. The Bills tried him in the slot and on the outside without much success.
The Bills got a head start on their 2013 free-agent class by re-signing starting guard Kraig Urbik this week. The AFC East blog also reported the Bills have started preliminary negotiations with pending free-agent safety Jairus Byrd. But McKelvin's free-agent status with Buffalo is much more in question.