The Buffalo Bills have been building toward a young-blooded secondary for the past few seasons and took another step in that direction on Thursday.
The team announced the release of 32-year-old cornerback Terrence McGee (per the Bills' Twitter account), a 10-year veteran of both the Bills and the NFL after being drafted in the fourth round in 2003.
Buffalo Bills @buffalobills
CB Terrence McGee released by #Bills http://t.co/gh2aWWZF2013-2-14 20:51:02
McGee hasn't played much recently due to injuries and an influx of youth, so the impact of his release will be minimal.
With a combined 22 games and 10 starts in the past three seasons, the Bills simply couldn't afford to bring McGee back at the $4.6 million cap hit that made him one of my top potential salary cap casualties of the offseason.
It should not come as a huge shock that he was released after failing a physical; that will void the final year of his contract, meaning the Dolphins get the full $4.6 million back on their salary cap instead of having to account for $2.25 million in dead money.
Even when McGee has been playing, he hasn't been the same player he once was. Over the past three seasons, he has allowed completions on 63.1 percent of throws into his coverage at 11.3 yards per completion, with a combined passer rating of 94.6. He has not had a single interception in that time.
McGee was better-known for his return skills than his coverage capabilities, but earned a spot as a starting cornerback in his second year and never looked back; that is, until injuries got the better of him.
Over the years, his role in the return game has dwindled to nothing while he has focused more on his role as a true cornerback.
The Bills do not have a lot of proven talent at cornerback; they are relying heavily on Stephon Gilmore to make a smooth transition to his second year. Behind Gilmore, the Bills can't feel very confident with third-year cornerbacks Aaron Williams and Justin Rogers, fifth-year cornerback Leodis McKelvin or second-year cornerback Ron Brooks.
There will likely be a competition between the four of them (and any potential offseason additions) to determine who starts alongside Gilmore.
That being said, this may not be the end of the road for McGee with the Bills—he could still be back on a different contract that would probably pay him less and would most certainly come with incentives based on performance and playing time.
In releasing him, however, the Bills have shown they are more likely to move in other directions.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.