Can McGee Stay Healthy?

Aug 9, 2009; Canton, OH, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Terrence McGee (24) during the Hall of Fame game against the Tennessee Titans at Fawcett Stadium. Photo via Newscom

Years of being an aggressive run defender have started taking their toll on McGee

Terrence McGee has been MIA of late.

In recent years, Terrence has just been unable to stay on the field.  He has seemingly been plagued with nagging injuries.  When healthy, he’s by far the Bills’ most talented corner.  I’ve always felt he ups his game against the competition, much like his former running mate Nate “the Playmaker” Clements.  While he may have his occasional lapses, he breaks up everything when he’s going up against the game’s top wideouts.  I’ll never forget how well he played against the Colts in ’06, when we lost to the eventual Super Bowl champs by a Rian Lindell miss (17-16).  That’s probably not fair, but attribute it to sour grapes.

Since signing an extension in 2009, McGee has missed 11 starts.  He has been limited in many of the games he has played in.

McGee’s aforementioned extension was worth $27 million ($9 million guaranteed) over 5 seasons.  I still feel McGee gave us a hometown discount on this deal, considering his status as a starting CB.  In the open market, I feel he would’ve found a deal closer to 5-years, $35 million.  Russ Brandon and Co. not only got a good deal on him, they signed him to a very solid contract.  They front-loaded the contract, giving him a $3 million signing bonus and a $6 million roster bonus this season.  Even though the oft-injured player hasn’t warranted $8.3 million this season, the rest of his contract isn’t guaranteed.  We’re on the hook for $3.2 million in 2011, $3.6 million in 2012, and $4.6 million in 2013 before he becomes a free agent (according to Rotoworld).  If he can stay healthy, those are very reasonable contract numbers for a starting DB in this league.  If not, the Bills can release him without any repercussions.  He’s already 30 and feeling how much it hurts being a 5-9 corner in the NFL.  To say he’s over-the-hill now would be drastic, though.  He showed flashes of his playmaking ability in the preseason.  I don’t feel like he’s lost a step yet.

As much as he would help the team, I think I’d like to shut him down for the year and try to get him healthy again for next season.  Sometimes that’s the only way to shake off the injuries he’s faced and dealt with.  He has been a good ball player for this club since being a 4th round pick out of Northwestern State in ’03 and I have my fingers crossed he can get over the hump.

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