INDIANAPOLIS (WGR 550) -- It's a bit of a different week for Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone at the 2014 NFL Combine. During the 2013 event, Marrone wasn't even two months into his new position as a head coach and had to focus almost solely on finding a quarterback.
Instead, the head coach is more in tune with what's going on with the team's unrestricted free agents, who likely needs replacement along the roster and what positions to target come draft day.
The lingering topic for the Bills is what they will do with safety Jairus Byrd. Now operating in the two-week window the NFL gives to teams to apply the franchise tag to players, the Bills must act swiftly and succinctly to either sign him to a long-term deal or to franchise tag him and give themselves more options.
If it were up to Marrone, Byrd would be back without any hesitation.
"After the season was over, my evaluation, I told [Jairus] what I was gonna go to management with," the head coach said. "I told Jairus, I have nothing but great things to say. I have nothing but great things to recommend. And then now, that goes to Doug Whaley and then it goes to management and then they try to come up with something and try to see what's best for both parties. But, I love him. I really do. He did an outstanding job for us."
The relationship between Byrd and the Bills' front office -- not the players or coaching staff -- took a major blow after the safety was tagged in 2013 and not given a long-term deal. He took his time reporting to the Bills, waiting until the latest possible moment to sign his tender without allowing the team to use a roster exemption on him.
Another instance of placing the franchise tag on Byrd would likely facilitate further resentment, and could force a split between the sides if there isn't any hope of signing him to a long-term deal.
Without Byrd, the Bills would have Aaron Williams starting at one safety spot, and then an opportunity to fill in the blank with the other. Marrone was asked if he believes Da'Norris Searcy could start for the team if they needed him to, and the coach's response fell way short of a ringing endorsement.
"Da'Norris is out there, we also have Duke Williams, people on our roster," Marrone said in his initial response to the question. "I think it's like anything else. If a player exits the program or leaves the program whatever it may be, unrestricted free agency, I think the first thing you do is you look on your roster to see what you have. And then after that, you can look into the unrestricted free agents that are out there. And then after that, you look at the draft."
The Bills also have a decision to make on a quarterback on their roster that had his season ended before it even began. Kevin Kolb was placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a concussion in the preseason and now has one year remaining on his contract.
The team has yet to comment publicly on his health status, but said Thursday that they'll know something soon.
"What I was told, there's a medical process and he's still going through it," Marrone said. "And we're waiting for him to come back for another medical check."
Despite not knowing the exact date it would happen, the head coach clarified that Kolb's medical checkup would take place ahead of the start of the new league year on March 11. The significance of that rests in the roster bonus owed to Kolb, a $1 million sum owed to the quarterback if he's on the roster two days past the start of the new league year.
Logically speaking, a decision needs to be made on his immediate future before that event comes to fruition. The Bills know the clock is ticking on both Byrd and Kolb, and a choice needs to be made on both.
Here is the full audio from Marrone's time with the Buffalo media on Thursday:
Bills' Marrone gave Byrd high praise to management
Please enter your comments below.
to the front office.
remember you said you will do what ever it takes to get this team back to the playoffs. Either pay him or release him. Don't drag your feet on this player. first of all you know you need him. second of all he did what you ask of him. But if you going to let him go; than do so. So he can go on with his career else where. and watch you reget it, i don't understand how can you pay a player like fitz all that money for nothing. and can't pay a player who has produce every year. That dose not make sense. You mess this up and you feel it like when you didn't pay levtrie. and you have not found a replacement for him yet. You really want us fans to beleive what your saying. than sign him and lets move on.
ARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHH!!! (Another Byrd Blog Part 1,005)
Hoping a trade is in the works to end this Joke for the 1,005th time. Can't wait for 1,006. NOT!
Idea of the day from my Armchair
Trade him to Tampa Bay for Darrelle Revis.
Fact: Byrd is the best safety on the Bills' roster.
Fact: If Byrd left the team, they would be worse.
Therefore: Sign him to a longer term deal.
NEED TO SIGN BYRD
Brandon needs to show hes big time and sign this guy. You don't let players like Byrd go. Hes the best free safety in the game. Spare me the fancy mottos like 'recharged' and all this other nonsense that goes on in the offseason and do everything you can to keep the guys you already have. Especially pro bowler's like Byrd.
This Byrd thing with a one track mind has really gotten out of hand
FIRE JOE BUSCAGLIA!!! HAD ENOUGH OF IT.
Sign Byrd, QB Situation, Draft
Sign Byrd. Conversation over on that.
EJ #1, Thad #2. Best OT available at #9. LB and WR rounds 2 and 3.
I agree with "to the front office"
Fitz wasn't the first QB the front office threw away money on. They signed Flutie to a multi-year contract, when nobody wanted him, then tore it up so they could pay him more. Did the same thing with Rob Johnson, while Flutie was still under contract. Don't tell us about how much should be paid for each position. When you finally have a great player under contract -- Jason Peters, Andy Levitre, Jarius Byrd -- sign him, because he's someone you've got that you actually can sign. The QBs the Bills have right now they're paying very little, so use that "extra" money to keep the handful of great players we have! We sure can't sign the other teams' Pro-Bowl LT, LG, Safety, or other great players. None of the teams that beat the Bills every year drop their best players by always offering only sub-market salaries.
Sign & Trade
They need to just work up a sign and trade deal. They are going to have some free agents they will want to resign in the next 2 years. They should be able to get a 1st for Byrd from a team that needs it, or even 2 2nds and a third.
@ This Byrd thing... etc.
Man crushes are man crushes on this station. Get used to it. There will be more on the way.
Revis ????? No thanks !!!!
Darrell Revis is another wanna be !!! He always tooted his own horn thinking he was the best in the NFL. He really is NOT the best. He might be in the top 20. He is injury prone. Would NOT want him on our team !!!!
who cares about byrd ?
its going to be 2 years and Brandon still cant sign him. the bills will be in Toronto before bills front office can sign byrd.
WHATS WORSE THAN THE BYRD "THING"?...
SIX AND 10 AND LAGARRETTE BLOUNT BLUDGEONING RUSS'S JILLS!!!
re: to i agree with to the front office.
I also agree with your comments. Thank you for reminding me about those other QB that they wasted money on. the flutie flakes thing just was, i can't even put it in words. thats how bad that mess was. You bring a player in to sell cereial to people. And then yo go get T.O. so he can get his own box too. It was like watching scobbie doo, you know like flutie and T.O. where are you. then everybody turning on his reailty show. I was like what the hell is this. AMC time you are getting paid to play football. not to play a soap star. And it this idiot don't stop with the lagarrette blount thing that don't make any sense i going to go crazy. if you love him so much then call him and take him out for a date. because the rest of us don't play that idoit.