(WGR 550) -- The draft is still a few months away, but regarding the Jairus Byrd situation, the Buffalo Bills are officially on the clock.
The National Football League institutes a two-week window for teams to declare their intentions with what they deem to be the impending unrestricted free agent with the highest priority. Opening Monday, the Bills and the rest of the teams in the NFL have until March 3 to assign the franchise tag to whomever they believe worthy.
For Buffalo, it could be a case of déjà vu with safety Jairus Byrd.
Tagged by the Bills for the 2013 season, the playmaking safety came away with five interceptions in just 11 games which helped him earn his second trip to the Pro Bowl. It proved once again that Byrd was one of the top players at his position, opening up the Bills to the idea of signing him for the longterm.
There's no doubting that the relationship between the organization and the player was a bit rocky to start the season. Byrd, fresh off delaying the signing of his tag until the last moment he could before the team could use a roster exemption on him, was very short in his words during his initial briefing with the media.
"Do I feel stuck here?" he said when asked that very question. "I'm just here. You know what I'm saying? I'm here, playing football."
Byrd signed his one-year tender for $6.916 million and, in what some contemplated to be a calculated move, sat out for the first five games of the season after dealing with a case of plantar fasciitis in both feet.
The safety grew fond of not only defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and how he concocted game plans, but also bonded with defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson. While the latter remains in his position, the former bolted for the head coaching gig in Cleveland, leaving Byrd to have his fifth new defensive coordinator in his first six years in the league if he inevitably hangs around Buffalo for another year.
Go right down the list.
Perry Fewell, George Edwards, Dave Wannstedt, Mike Pettine and now, if both he and the Bills choose to, Jim Schwartz.
Some will say that Byrd really doesn't have a choice, which to a certain extent is true. However, Byrd can choose not to do two separate things. He can choose not to sign a long-term deal, and he can choose to not sign the franchise tag tender if that's the path the Bills go down.
In their perfect world, Buffalo would love to get Byrd locked up for the long-term. He and his agent, Eugene Parker, might have some other things in mind though.
Bills GM Doug Whaley said after the season ended that they'll give it the 'ole college try.
"We’ve had a conversation, myself and Russ [Brandon], sat and talked to Jairus and we’re going to make an offer to the guy and we’re going to try to keep him. We’re going to try to the best of our abilities because we’re in the business of collecting good players and he’s a good player."
That importance could even be raised with the departure of Pettine and arrival of Schwartz. Pettine's defense brought pressure from everywhere, whereas Schwartz's defense focuses more on the front four wreaking havoc. With that in mind, the Bills could look at Byrd as an even high priority than he had been.
The two sides are expected to meet in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine, according to John Wawrow of the Associated Press, likely to determine if there is anything that can be done to get Byrd signed for the long-term.
If it appears all hope is lost on that front, the Bills can tag him and take on a cap hit of $8.299 million if Byrd elects to sign it before the season. Whaley said in December that the franchise tag is "always an option" in regards to the safety.
Tagging Byrd could also present the Bills with the most flexibility. They can continue attempting to negotiate with him through July 15, or if all else fails, they can deal him to another team during that timeframe.
For now, it's a waiting game until the two sides finally get together in the one-week hub of the NFL, Indianapolis.
WGR Sports Radio 550 will be on the scene all week long at the NFL Combine. Keep checking back for the latest.
I don't think he wants to stay with the Bill's,so tag and trade him.Get something in return!!!
He's gone to .....
The Bills trade him to Cleveland for a draft pick. Pettine will take the man for a second or third round pick and a developmental player. Bills want to do it cheap.
Not worth the money
Joey, give it a rest. The Bills are not clueless to Bryd. The prevailing thought around league is that Bryd cannot cover the slot or a TE one on one and is not physical enough to play front seven on support calls. He is simply overpaid. Heck Aaron Williams brings more value to the defense with his multi-talents. You need to dial into some of the National scout types. Bryd is an NFL is a solid NFL starter particularly in zone defenses but simply not a top NFL safety in todays cover game.
This is going to be fun...
Who needs soap operas when you have the NFL!
Show him the money
Seriously - how much more does he have to prove that he is one of the best at his position. "Pay the man his money" (as I say twisting an Oreo). Last year I wasn't so sure, but I am now. He is a keeper, a rare talent. We need to make sure or DC employees similar schemes in pass defense, while shoring up the run defense for any of this to matter anyway.
Stop playing around and sign him.
He have said he wants to stay a bill. He came in late we all know that. But when he did come in he let his talking talk for himself when he was on the feild. You know the stats by now. And he went to the probowl. To me its either you put up or shut up. Well i guess he shut up a lot of people. So do what right bills. and pay the man. Lets go ruff buff.
LAGARRETTE BLOUNT AND THE HOODIE SAY....
KEEP BYRD!! WE LOVE RUNNING OVER HER!!!!
VIVA SIX AND 10, RUSS!!!!
and negotiate...but more realistically trade...or get one more year out of him.
Long story short of it, you're basically saying they're going to use the Franchise Tag again and try to either sign him or trade him before July 15th. Did I get that right? Much shorter read when I get right to it, eh?
Be fiscally and football smart
I have posted here before having stated that I believe the Bills would be in their best interest to sign J. Byrd to a long-term contract. I believe that it would be smart of the team to break down its team into units. For instance they have a defensive front, linebackers, and secondary for a total of three units. They then assign a monetary value to each unit. The same goes for the offensive side of the ball. Obviously the totals must add up to fall within the salary cap and J. Byrd would be the top value in the secondary. Each year the team would need to decide which players to keep and which to allow to test free agency. We must keep our highly valued players if we are to continue to build up our team. We can't allow the Bills to be a "farm system" for other teams in the league to pluck our players after their initial contracts expire. Jairus has more than proved himself so we need to make him an honest and fair offer and even go so far as to show him the plan of keeping other valued players as their contracts come due. Then, if he is truly a team player, and he sees what the organization is trying to do, while being told he is highly valued...he may very well stay. Let's all hope so!! Go Bills!!
Here we go again...(barf!!)
Get rid of this guy. We all know the pro bowl is a popularity contest. We don't care if he had 10 interceptions. He is NOT
an impact player. If he could hit and bring fear into receivers (like Rodney Harrison)then he should be signed.
He is no Rodney Harrison. He is the 'Lee Evans' of safeties.
Now we have to listen to all this BS the next 5 months.
Player contracts & BS agents like Parker are DESTROYING the game!Should he be well payed?Sure!Does he deserve $9mil?No way!Tag & Trade!
Transition Tag Him
Byrd wants to hit the market and the Bills want a chance to keep him. Seriously... let him go test the market to make him happy. If some other team wants to offer him a crazy deal, then fine. But based on last season's FA market and what I suspect this year's will do, it's completely possible the best deal he's offered out on the market is closer to what the Bills have been offering Byrd than what Byrd's been asking for. I like Byrd and think he's going to help any scheme Schwartz puts in place. At the same time, the Bills can't risk their long-term cap flexibility over a guy that played good last season, but not leaps and bounds ahead of how the Bills looked with Williams, Searcy, and Leonard.
If this new defense...
is relying on pressure from the front four, this season may be over before it begins.
lock him up
sign him to a long term deal
Let it run. Announce the trade with about 10 seconds left on it.
Sign JP Losman
Get him in here for a workout and sign him
re: to lagrrette blount.
What this person need to do is put the blount down and give your lungs some air. Also the beer, the crack, the herion. And stop sniffing that glue that mess will kill you. Thats how your comment come off. We can tell you are hurting go to ecmc because your bed is ready for you for lol.
I have argued this case in Byrd's, defense for far too long. Either sign him or let him go. The Bills have the cap room and will more room once they release Kolb. Tagging him is basically a difference of about &700,000 for Byrd, this year. According to a previous article Byrd is looking for 45M over 5yrs with a 20M guaranty. Tagging him has a direct impact on this year's cap room, which can be used to fill other holes. Back load the deal, with up an front bonus and incentives. No doubt in my mind, Byrd will continue to excel for at least the next 3-5 years. If the Bills can't make it happen then they need have to have a better plan than Jim Leonhard. The other DB's on the roster have potential to serviceable, but none of them have the proven skill set and experience of Byrd.
Is that plantar fasciitis worth renting for $8.3M a year?!
I like Byrd. I'd like for him to remain a Buffalo Bill. But I'm far from ready for the Bills to break open the bank for him. I ask myself if he is he really one of the best safeties and I keep coming up to the answer "No." That's not to say he's not very skilled, and very good. Byrd does have some great hands, and I will admit that he is one of the better safeties against the pass if the ball's on his side of the field. But when I think of the best overall safeties, I think of instinct. I think of safeties like Ed Reed and Polamalu who always seem to be in the right place--run or pass, no matter how many steps they've lost. They may not be there right at the line of scrimmage, but they're usually there soon enough to help stop that big run. On the flip side, I don't see those instincts with Byrd. I don't see him quickly dissecting run or pass, then stepping up to help with the run. Instead he (and his plantar fasciitis which gives me additional pause in shelling out big bucks for Byrd) sits back on the pass, and about all you see of him in the run game is Byrd chasing a RB using a bad angle on a highlight reel run.