As the Buffalo Bills began shedding veteran defenders yesterday (releasing Nick Barnett and George Wilson), the natural question for fans to ask was "who's next?" One player that many fans considered in trying to answer that question, defensive end Chris Kelsay, has been cleared by doctors to return to the team, reports John Wawrow of The Associated Press.
Kelsay landed on injured reserve for the first time in his 10-year career in 2012, missing the last seven games of the season with a partially torn ligament in his neck. Set to turn 34 later this year, fans have long assumed that Kelsay (and his $3.7 million salary) would not be back with the team in 2013. Kelsay, however, told Wawrow that he's completely healed from the injury - and that he's approaching the season as if he'll be back.
Yesterday's releases of Barnett and Wilson left the Bills with just two defenders under contract over the age of 30: Kelsay and injury-prone cornerback Terrence McGee, who is owed a $500,000 roster bonus (not to mention $1.75 million in base salary) this season. Both were part-time players for one of the league's worst defenses in 2012. Buffalo saved $6.4 million by cutting Barnett and Wilson - two of its more dependable defenders - on Monday; it's slightly perplexing to us, at the very least, that the team hasn't yet parted with another $5.95 million tied up in Kelsay and McGee.