Jeremy White of WGR 550 Buffalo reports that the Bills are “unlikely” to use their franchise tag on free agent S Jairus Byrd or reach an agreement on a log-term contract before the start of free agency.
- White adds that the two sides have had “productive discussions” in recent weeks, however, it appears likely that Byrd will be playing elsewhere next season.
- Joe Buscaglia also reports that Buffalo are unlikely to franchise Byrd.
- Ian Rapoport reports that the Bills made Byrd an offer that would make him the highest paid safety for a period of the contract.
- Rapoport adds that the Bills aren’t ruling out re-signing him during free agency.
The franchise tag would run the Bills $8.433 million fully guaranteed for the 2014 season.
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 have Byrd listed as our No. 1 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.