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Buddy Nix's top three UFA's to re-sign: Byrd, Levitre and ???

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Who are the top three free agents the Buffalo Bills want to re-sign?

We know safety Jairus Byrd and left guard Andy Levitre are in that group.

The other fellow might surprise you.

Bills General Manager Buddy Nix specified cornerback Leodis McKelvin as a player they want back and declared McKelvin would be the starting right cornerback based on the current roster.

"It's important for us to keep all three of those guys," Nix said, "and I'm throwing Leodis in there and Levitre and, of course, Jairus Byrd."

While a scintillating return man, McKelvin has been a disappointment as a cornerback, especially considering the Bills drafted him 11th overall in 2008. He was the first cornerback off the draft board, taken ahead of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (16th) and Aqib Talib (20th) and Mike Jenkins (25th).

McKelvin started three games as a rookie and suffered a broken leg in his second season. He didn't become a regular starter until 2010, and he frequently was scalded in coverage.

He started only six games in 2011 and four games this season because Aaron Williams got hurt in Week Nine.

Stephon Gilmore is Buffalo's left cornerback.

"Aaron's coming along good, and he's going to be something that the coaches will decide where he best fits," Nix said. "But if I had to say right now [who the other starter is] on our roster between now and March 12, it'd be Leodis.

"Leodis has got to have some help, but he's a big-time returner. I think Leodis will be a candidate for that spot."

tagged

2013 free agency | Aaron Williams | Andy Levitre | Buddy Nix | Jairus Byrd | Leodis McKelvin | Stephon Gilmore
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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