Bills GM Doug Whaley reiterated on Tuesday that they would like to retain impending free agent FS Jairus Byrd.
“We just finished putting the map out on our plan for the offseason right before we came down here,” Whaley said, via BuffaloBills.com. “(Senior Vice President of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is getting some paperwork together and we’re going to send out some offers to our free agents and go from there.”
Byrd, 26, is in the final year of his contract and figures to be one of the most sought after free agents on the open market. That is, of course, assuming that the Bills do not use their franchise tag on Byrd for the second straight season, which is something that Whaley wasn’t willing to rule out as an option a few weeks ago.
Whaley is hoping that Byrd’s relationship with his secondary coach Donnie Henderson will have an impact on his decision.
“Everything we heard is he really enjoyed coach Henderson and he loves his teammates and I think he likes the defensive scheme that coach Pettine employs so all those are positives and hopefully we can use that in our negotiation,” Whaley said.
Considering that Buffalo has already tagged Byrd once, using the designation again would cost them over $8 million in 2014. Byrd has previously made it known that he is hoping to be one of, if not, the highest paid safeties in the league, which could complicate extension talks with the Bills.
Buffalo does have a decent amount of cap space at their disposal this offseason, so we’ll have to see if talks progress in the coming weeks and whether or not the franchise tag is an option.
We have Byrd listed as the No. 4 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.