The Buffalo Bills have until 4pm Monday to use the franchise tag on safety Jairus Byrd. According to a report from WGR’s Joe Buscaglia, it’s unlikely to happen.
Buscaglia cites a source that says not only are the Bills unlikely to use the tag again on Byrd before Monday’s deadline, they’re also unlikely to reach any type of deal with Byrd before the three-time Pro Bowler reaches free agency on March 11.
Translation— so long, Jairus Byrd.
In theory the Bills could still sign Byrd to a long-term deal before free agency begins and technically still can even after shopping season begins, but the reality is once tomorrow passes without the Bills tagging Byrd, his Buffalo career will become a thing of the past.
It would cost the Bills $8.43 million…and plenty of headaches to tag Byrd again.
As aggravating as the news surely is to Bills fans, it must be noted that Byrd not likely to sign isn’t a result of the organization’s lack of trying. The Associated Press is reporting Byrd rejected a recent proposal from Buffalo that would’ve included $30 million in the first three years of his deal.
To make a long story short, Byrd doesn’t want to commit to remaining in Buffalo and certainly not without testing the open market, one that both Byrd and his agent Eugene Parker are clearly confident in being able to secure a monster deal.
Byrd certainly wouldn’t have a hard time finding a long line of suitors in free agency. Bills fans may be angry with him right now, but it doesn’t change the fact he’s one of the premier defensive backs in the NFL, and his now seemingly imminent loss will surely leave the team yet another hole in need of fixing.
Maybe something changes between now and late Monday afternoon but as things stand, it appears Byrd is headed into his final eight days as a member of the Buffalo Bills.