For Leodis McKelvin the free agent market didn't interest him. Even though staying in Buffalo meant he'd be playing under his third head coach entering his sixth NFL season with the Bills, for him the organization has been like family. That combined with a legitimate chance to land the starting left cornerback job had him committed to re-signing with the club as he put pen to paper Monday at One Bills Drive.
"This feels awesome," McKelvin said moments after signing his multi-year contract extension. "It feels great to have a chance to stay with one team for pretty much your entire career. It's a great feeling that I don't have to move my family or anything like that. It's great to be with one organization and have them have my back and come back and show my loyalty that I want to be here."
McKelvin agreed to terms on the new deal with Buffalo over the weekend. Though he'll continue to spend his career with the same team that made him a first-round pick in 2008, McKelvin is excited about what he sees as a fresh start to his career.
Though Doug Marrone will be his third head coach, he'll experience his first change as a pro with his new position coach Donnie Henderson. McKelvin is also now the veteran of the Bills secondary with the offseason departures of Terrence McGee and George Wilson.
"Everything is going to be different," said McKelvin, who will turn 28 before the 2013 regular season. "The atmosphere, the feedback coming from the coaches, everything is going to be different. With us being young at corner and me entering my sixth year there's going to be a lot of excitement. I'm looking forward to it. I know our guys are hungry and I'm ready to get to work."
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McKelvin actually got some words of encouragement from Wilson, who he saw over the weekend.
"I've learned from a lot of good people, Terrence McGee, George Wilson," he said. "I just talked to George and he said, 'You can do it. You learned from us and I believe in you.' So that's important to hear it from a good person like George. I looked at him like a big brother.
"I always thought I could be the veteran in the room and try to lead a position group and help us be a great secondary. We'll continue doing what we need to do to make this thing better and get this thing on the right path."
To be a leader, McKelvin has to land a starting job first. He's expected to compete for the starting left cornerback job in spring workouts and training camp with Aaron Williams, Justin Rogers and Ron Brooks as the chief competitors.
"My ability is fitting to be a starter in this league. I truly believe that," said McKelvin. "The past few years have been up and down, but believing in myself in my heart, I know I'm a starting corner in this league. I'm looking forward to coming in and competing and working with these coaches and we're going to make it work."