1:21pm: The Bills have officially released McKelvin, the team announced in a press release.
11:03am: Leodis McKelvin, who has been with the Bills for all eight seasons of his NFL career, will hit the open market for the first time this month, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). According to Rapoport, Buffalo is releasing the veteran cornerback.
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McKelvin, selected 11th overall in the 2008 draft, had been preparing to enter the final year of his contract with the Bills, and was in line for a $3.1MM base salary and a $4.9MM cap hit. Recent reports had suggested the team would explore a reworked contract with McKelvin in an attempt to keep him around, but Buffalo will part ways with him instead, creating $3.9MM in cap savings.
Despite being a first-round pick, McKelvin never developed into a shutdown corner for the Bills, or even a full-time starter — he has only started more than nine games in a season twice in his career, due to both performance and injuries. In 2015, McKelvin grabbed two interceptions to go along with 32 tackles, nine passes defended, and a fumble recovery. Pro Football Focus ranked him 83rd out of 111 qualified cornerbacks.
While McKelvin will hit the open market and will immediately be free to sign with a new team once the Bills make the move official, Buffalo will free up a little more cap room to conduct its offseason business. The Bills still hope to re-sign guard Richie Incognito and tender contracts to as many of their restricted free agents as possible before the new league year opens on Wednesday.
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