The 4-year, 20 million dollar deal the Bills gave McKelvin contains 7.5 million guaranteed and is an overpay just because I don’t know who else would have shelled out that kind of dough for him. However, it’s very possible he ends up being worth that for them. He’s a dynamic returner who led the NFL in punt return average last year, bringing back 23 for 431 yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as 18 kickoffs for 510 yards.
However, not only is he an All-Pro return man, as voted on by the Pro Football Writers of America, but he played well in limited action at cornerback. An injury prone bust as the 11th overall pick in 2008, McKelvin has only once played more than 514 snaps in a seaon in his 5-year contract, but he’s graded out as a slightly above average cornerback when healthy in each of the past 2 years and he provides solid depth and a valuable insurance option should 2011 2nd round pick Aaron Williams struggle for the 3rd straight year in 2013.
If McKelvin can stay healthy and take over for a predictably struggling Williams again in 2013, this time for good, I don’t think this type of money is ridiculous for a solid starting cornerback who provides incredible value on special teams as well. That’s a pretty big if and it is a lot of money to spend to find out, probably a good deal more than anyone else would have given him, and elite pure special teamers have a very short shelf life, which is why it’s very hard to like this move, but it makes sense. I’m giving it a C, even though I feel like last year or a couple years ago I would have destroyed this move, but I don’t find it awful now. Maybe I’ve gone soft.