In an interview with Ty Dunne of The Buffalo News, Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin made it clear that he'd like to stay with the Bills for as long as it takes to end the team's 16-year playoff drought - and he even sounds willing to take a pay cut to do it.
"For me personally, my goal is to stay here and get this team to the playoffs. No matter how many years it takes, that's my goal."
And what if the Bills ask him to take a pay cut? McKelvin grins again and assures, "I have a lot of money in the bank."
There's little to no doubt that McKelvin, who will turn 31 just before the 2016 regular season begins, won't be back in Buffalo at his current salary next year. He has one year remaining on the four-year, $17 million contract he signed as a free agent prior to the 2013 season, and the team won't be paying him $3.1 million in base salary and $800,000 in bonuses to hold a small role. The Bills would save $3.9 million on the salary cap by releasing McKelvin, the most they could save by cutting any one player not named Mario Williams.
The bigger question is whether there'd be enough of a role for him at any salary. Buffalo has committed a lot of resources to their top three corners (Stephon Gilmore, Ronald Darby, and Nickell Robey), and even if they try to upgrade at slot corner this offseason, McKelvin has struggled mightily at that position in limited work this season. His best bet for a role is at safety, where the Bills have major question marks and a need for new blood heading into the offseason, but head coach Rex Ryan has stated on multiple occasions this year that McKelvin is not the ideal size for the safety position - though he wouldn't need to add more than 5-10 pounds this offseason to make up for that.
"We have a lot of things going on with our secondary," McKelvin said. "All of us might not be here next year. You never know. With Aaron and his decision he may make. … I can make that move. I feel young enough. So I can do it, I can do it. It’s all about the want-to."
McKelvin remains one of the most likely Bills players to become a cap casualty this offseason, but the veteran defensive back has now left that decision in the hands of the team with his comments.