<
>

Bills CB McGee gearing up for critical year

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The names look rather intimidating.

Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Bowe and Roddy White.

Those are some of the players the Buffalo Bills' secondary will need to contend with this year.

Terrence McGee, who as the left cornerback will need to face the opposition's best receiving threat, isn't panicky.

"This is what you play for," McGee said after Wednesday's practice. "We have the guys to get the job done. We have a lot of playmakers out there. We just have to go out there and make it happen.

"But each week is going to be a tough test. We have to be up for that task."

McGee is excited about Buffalo's secondary, especially his counterpart on the other side of the field. Leodis McKelvin, last year's 11th overall draft pick, has replaced Jabari Greer, a free-agency defection.

"Leodis is one of those guys that can really, really make some plays," McGee said. "I really expect a big year from him."

McGee will have the chance to make a lot of plays this year. Depending on your perspective, the timing is fabulous or unfortunate for McGee. He's entering the final year of his contract.

The Bills initiated contract extension talks with McGee last week. He reiterated he wants to remain with Buffalo.

Given all the potential tormenters he'll be facing this year, he can't afford to let his contract situation distract him.

"I tell my agent 'Don't even tell me about it until you reach a nice agreement,' " McGee said. "I don't want to think about it. I just want to go out there and play.

"I don't want to get beat on a pass and then sit there and wonder 'Uh oh. What did the front office think about that?' I just want to worry about trying to make the playoffs."

But he did perk up when I asked him about the money NFL teams spend on experienced cornerbacks. Cornerbacks are compensated more than any position other than quarterback.

McGee will turn 29 next month. That's not a bad age to hit the open market if it comes to that.

"When your time comes up, it's something that you look forward to in your career," McGee said. "It's an opportunity when you can be set for your family. Any time in football, you can be injured and be done. This gives you that ease of mind that even if something happens, I'll still be able to take care of my loved ones.

"I'm just looking for what's fair. I'm not trying to beat nobody over the head. At the same time, I'm not trying to get underpaid. This is the best contract that I will get."

Just don't tell him about it until he needs to grab a pen.