- Rapoport mentions that the Browns would would get a play-maker in Byrd who is already familiar with new HC Mike Pettine defensive scheme.
- Rapoport adds that the Bills could, of course, complicate the situation by franchising Byrd with the intention of trading him.
- Joe Buscaglia would be “shocked” if the Bills didn’t franchise Byrd and adds that they “don’t want to lose him for nothing.“
Assuming this is a plausible idea, it would likely signal the end of T.J. Ward‘s time in Cleveland. Recent reports have indicated that the Browns would like to keep Ward, however, pursuing Byrd could be a contingency option for them.
- Rapoport believes it would cost the Browns too much to pursue Byrd and while trying to keep Ward long-term.
The Bills have said that they intend to keep all of their options option regarding Byrd.
“In that situation, you’re going to use every option open,” GM Doug Whaley said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “We don’t want to put ourselves in a corner, and I don’t want to say to you guys, ‘We’re going to do this,’ and then something changes and we don’t something different. Then you guys look at me different when you ask me a question. We as an organization, again, we’re going to leave every option open for Jairus because we would like him back.”
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.
Cleveland has plenty of cap space to get involved with a top-tier free agent this offseason.
We have Byrd and Ward listed as the No. 3 and 4 players in our Top 50 Free Agents list.