Kelsay reportedly signs for guaranteed $14.5 million

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills signed defensive end
Chris Kelsay to a four-year contract on Monday, four days before he was to become an unrestricted free agent.

Chris Kelsay Kelsay

ESPN.com's John Clayton reported that the deal is worth $5.75 million per year, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

A second-round draft pick in 2003 out of Nebraska, Kelsay
emerged as one of the Bills' top defensive linemen last season.
Starting all 16 games for the second straight year, he had career
highs in tackles (88) and sacks (5.5), finishing third on the team
in sacks and sixth in tackles.

"Relieved, excited, it's just kind of an overwhelming feeling
right now because Buffalo really exceeded my expectations and
really did their part to get me back here," Kelsay said. "The
stress that comes along with free agency and not knowing what lies
ahead ... that's all over and done with. It's a huge sigh of

It's also a relief for the Bills, who managed to retain at least
one of their top three defensive players eligible to become free
agents on Friday. Buffalo is unlikely to re-sign cornerback Nate Clements, who is seeking a contract too expensive for the Bills to
afford. Middle linebacker London Fletcher is also expected to test
the market.

Kelsay is confident the Bills can overcome the potential
free-agent losses and build on last year's 7-9 finish under
first-year head coach Dick Jauron.

"You hate to lose guys like that," Kelsay said. "But I've
said from the bye week from last season on, that we made some great
strides, and if we can continue to do that ... who knows, I think
we've got a very bright future here this next year."

Kelsay has proven to be a solid complement to right defensive
end Aaron Schobel, the Bills' top pass-rusher. Kelsay had a sack in
each of the Bills' first three games in 2006, had a season-high six
tackles against Chicago on Oct. 8, and matched that total the
following week against Detroit.

The 27-year-old Kelsay has started 41 of his 64 career games,
finishing with 177 tackles and 12.5 sacks. He also has two
interceptions and four fumble recoveries during his four years with

The Associated Press contributed to this report.