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Posted: Thursday, 05 September 2013 12:37PM

Bills' Byrd responds to trade request report



Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550)  -- Following his long-awaited return to the Buffalo Bills, franchised safety Jairus Byrd held court with the media that could generally be described as awkward. Not wanting to reveal his intentions, Byrd kept his guard up on the queries that tried to delve in what some believe to be a contentious relationship with the team that employs him.

Adding a new layer to the discomfort, Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News reported in Thursday morning's paper that, citing league sources, Byrd and his agent Eugene Parker were attempting to call around to find potential trade partners with the Bills.

Knowing the onslaught of questions were coming once again, Byrd met with the media once more about the ever-evolving position he finds himself in.

"From what I understand, someone is saying 'sources.' I would like to know what sources they're talking about before you can say sources," Byrd initially remarked when the report was brought up. "My focus is just on football now, honestly. For this team, my teammates mean the world to me. I don't want to be any distraction to them. We have a big game coming up. We need to be 100 percent on New England, and that's where our focus is at. That's it. That's that."

There is a certain amount of mystery surrounding the type of relationship the safety has with the front office at One Bills Drive, and one that Byrd wouldn't give any distinction to.

"As far as the organization, I can't speak on that," he said. "That's for another day, another time. That's why I have an agent. I'm trying to get ready to play football."

Byrd then was asked about his relationship, whether it be a working or personal one, with General Manager Doug Whaley. Once more, Byrd kept his cards close to the vest but wasn't overwhelmingly exuberant.

"I don't know. A working relationship? That's what it is, what you just said. A working relationship, I guess," the safety replied. "I don't want to get into all that. I mean, I'm an employee of the Buffalo Bills. He's the general manager. There you have it. We're here to win games."

Many could decipher Byrd's lack of jubilation when it comes to public comments about the front office as there being a bit of a rift between the two sides. That perceived divide is not so between the safety and Head Coach Doug Marrone.

"In regards to Jairus' situation -- from my standpoint as a head coach -- he's out here right now working, he's been working like heck on the field," Marrone said. "He knows what we're doing defensively and he's been a great teammate helping everyone. So he's been a great pro, and that's what I evaluate it on is how he's doing for us in the locker room, on the field. So, I have zero complaints with what he's doing."

Marrone insisted the Byrd situation was not a distraction to him as a head coach entering his first season.

For the third straight day the franchised safety was limited in practice due to his current condition of plantar fasciitis. Byrd revealed that the condition was affecting both feet, rather than just one.

"It was just something that happened last year, actually, something that I played with last year," he said. "Things didn't progress as I'd like them to over the offseason based off what protocol was told to me. I'm just trying to get my feet ready -- that's it -- and help the team win as many games as we possibly can."

Byrd is still categorized as day-to-day, and has yet to be ruled out of Sunday's contest against the New England Patriots.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : New England
People : Doug MarroneDoug WhaleyEugene ParkerMark Gaughan
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