Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix considers Leodis McKelvin a starting cornerback on his football team, and lists him alongside Jairus Byrd and Andy Levitre as players that the Bills would like to re-sign as soon as possible.
That from Tim Graham at The Buffalo News, who quotes Nix from the 2013 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where the GM met with reporters earlier on Thursday afternoon. Per Graham, Nix spoke effusively of McKelvin's abilities as a return man - as he should - before turning his attention to the No. 2 cornerback role behind entrenched starter Stephon Gilmore.
"(Aaron Williams is) 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."
It's a surprising opinion from the Bills' top talent evaluator, mostly because McKelvin has been in and out of the defensive lineup so frequently over the past two years thanks to long stretches of poor play. It's also perhaps a knock on Williams, the 2011 second-round pick that has struggled on the field and with injuries in his first two seasons; Nix seems to admit here that the Bills might consider a position change for the Texas product.
McKelvin told reporters after the 2012 season concluded that he considers himself a starter in this league. It appears that the Bills agree with that assessment, and may be willing to back up their claim financially. We're now up to (at least) four free agents that the Bills reportedly would like to re-sign: Byrd, Levitre, McKelvin and defensive end Kyle Moore.