Trindon Holliday, Josh Cribbs, Leodis McKelvin (1st round pick), Patrick Peterson (1st round pick), Darius Reynaud (Undrafted), Leon Washington (4th round), Dwayne Harris (6th round), Jacoby Jones (3rd round), Devin Hester (2nd round), and Ted Ginn (1st round) were the leaders in punt return yardage this past season.
David Wilson (1st round), Darius Reynaud (undrafted), Josh Cribbs (Undrafted), Jacobey Jones (3rd round), Joe McKnight (4th round), Marcus Thigpen (Undrafted), Brandon Boykin (4th round), Chris Rainey (5th round), Randall Cobb (2nd round), and Brandon Tate (3rd round) were the leaders in kickoff return yardage this past season..
Pretty sure you know where I am going here, right?
You can find punt returners late in the draft, which is why I don't get why the Bills re-signed McKelvin. Of these players, only three of the returners were drafted in the 1st round, and two of those picks were busts. Nine of these guys were picked in the 4th round or lower.
I also saw in some places that Leodis is a fit w/Pettine's defense. That is crap. If you are going to run a lot of man-to-man coverage, you want your CBs to have superb ball instincts. Leodis does not. He's a guy who you don't want on his own CB island. You need a safety helping him out in coverage and if the Bills are going all blitzkrieg w/ their defense, you aren't going to have that. They need another CB.
Anyways, I can't tell you how much this signing seems stupid. You could have put that money into much more pressing needs. It feels a little like them re-signing Kelsay after years of him being a disappointment. I mean, I know the Bills have always been high on special teams, but this is a luxury they can't afford.
I get that we will get a total shit load of battle cries of sarcasm on Twitter of "Good thing we didn't re-sign Leodis" when he makes a punt return for a touchdown or the opposite when he gets burned, "Glad we are paying him 5-million a year to have Wes Welker torch him", but let me ask you, what is more important? Having a good punt returner or a #2 CB? Or better yet, what is easier to replace? That's what this boils down to.
It seems like every year the Bills have elite returners..yet, what has that gotten them?