By Mark Gaughan
NEWS SPORTS REPORTER
FOXBOROUGH – Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Chris Kelsay is close to an agreement on a contract extension with the team, sources tell The News.
Kelsay, 30, is in his eighth season with the Bills and has pleased the Bills’ new regime with his transition from defensive end to outside linebacker.
Kelsay is in the final year of a $5.75 million-a-year contract he signed before the 2007 season. The extension is believed to be in the range of $24 million. It’s believed the deal could be finalized within a week.
The Bills like Kelsay’s all-around game and see him as a sturdy outside linebacker and sound in his assignments. He has been a captain on defense three of the past four seasons, including this year. He is held in high regard by his position coach, Bob Sanders, who switched from coaching defensive line last season to outside linebackers this year.
Kelsay is not a prime pass rusher. Kelsay has 22 sacks in his seven previous seasons. He had five sacks last season, two in 2008 and 2.5 in 2007. Even before this season, the Bills dropped him into coverage on zone blitzes a fair amount. He was fourth among defensive linemen in passes defensed in 2008.
Kelsay had a career-best 68 tackles last season. He was a second-round pick of the Bills in the 2003 NFL Draft.