— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) March 3, 2014
Bills GM Doug Whaley:
“It’s a negotiation,” Whaley said, via BuffaloBills.com. “We still have some time to get it done so we’re not closing the door on it. We’re hopeful. We’re optimistic, but we’ll see where it goes from here.”
“We were very comfortable with the significant offer we made to those guys,” said Whaley. “We’ll leave the lines of communication open and we’re still open to anything they come back with or if they come back and accept the deal. We’ll be open with that as well.”
Whaley added that they have been negotiating a long-term deal with Byrd’s reps for more than a year, but have yet to reach agreement. The Bills are still open to re-signing him this offseason.
Byrd will have no trouble finding interest on the open market given that a number of cap-rich teams are in need of safety help. The Eagles, Browns and Falcons have all been mentioned as speculative options for Byrd should be available.
Byrd, 27, is reportedly seeking a similar contract to that of Eric Weddle, who received a five-year, $40 million deal from the Chargers. Last year, Byrd totaled 48 tackles, 4 sacks, one interception and a forced fumble for the Bills defense. Pro Football Focus has Byrd rated as the No. 8 safety in the league last season.
We had Byrd listed as our No. 1 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.
- La Canfora adds that it still sounds like they are unlikely to use the designation on him.
Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that the Bills made Byrd an offer that would make him the highest paid safety for a period of the contract.
The franchise tag would run the Bills $10.1196 million fully guaranteed for the 2014 season. This figure includes a 20 percent increase based on the fact that they used the designation him last year.