Free agency officially begins at 4:00pm on March 12, but this isn’t like any other offseason. For all intents and purposes free agency starts at midnight this evening when for the first time teams can directly talk and negotiate with player agents without accusations of tampering.
Throughout the course of the weekend you can expect the rumor mill to be spinning faster than ever before. Rumors and source-based reports stating deals are done will be plentiful, even if they can’t officially sign until close to dinner time next Tuesday.
While Andy Levitre is the Buffalo Bills big-ticket free agent, the team’s attention will be more on cornerback Leodis McKelvin today. The Associated Press reported Thursday the team and McKelvin’s agent, Hadley Enelhard are slated to meet in hopes of landing a deal. Buffalo would like McKelvin back as they view him as an electric kick returner and in the mix for playing time at cornerback.
That hardly means McKelvin is a lock to sign. This close to cashing in, he may elect to see what kind of offers are out there as he clearly wants to get paid like a cornerback and not merely a returner.
As for Levitre, everything indicates a foregone conclusion he’ll be playing elsewhere next season. Levitre is the top guard on the market and there’s already a buzz in league circles multiple teams will be hot on his trail, including Indianapolis, Detroit, Minnesota and Tennessee.
Perhaps the respect between Levitre and the Bills is strong enough for him to come back to Buddy Nix with a chance to match an offer, but it won’t matter— there’s no way Buffalo’s paying a guard $6+ million per year with the holes they need to fill.
Other notable Bills free agents Nix has to make decisions on includes Chad Reinhart, Corey McIntyre and Kyle Moore. Nix has said he’d like to re-sign Moore.
Many players are leaving, and some new ones are coming. Buckle up, Bills fans and get that internet refresh button ready—the fun starts when the clock strikes midnight.