Levitre, Byrd in line for new contracts with Bills

AP

Last year, the Bills entered the season with a couple of high-profile players entering the final seasons of their contracts:  quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and receiver Stevie Johnson.  This year, the guys moving toward free agency have less name recognition, but could be as important to making the team more and more competitive in the future.

Taken nine picks apart in round two of the 2009 draft, left guard Andy Levitre and safety Jairus Byrd (pictured) will hit the open market simultaneously, next March.  Per Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News, the Bills could try to sign one or both players before the season opens on September 9.

If the Bills sign one, they can use the franchise tag on the other.  But because guards don’t have their own franchise-tag category, it takes elite tackle money to use the tag on Levitre.

So the smart move could be to sign Levitre and tag Byrd.

Or maybe the smartest move would be to sign both.  Doing it before the season shifts the injury risk to the team.  For now, it’s on the players.  But if they stay healthy and become more effective, their value will increase.

4 responses to “Levitre, Byrd in line for new contracts with Bills

  1. Whoever doesn’t get the tag should consider themselves so lucky. Either can break the bank, sign with a good franchise and most importantly, not have to call Buffalo, NY their home.

  2. As someone who was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, moved to NC, and moved right back because I missed HOME, I can tell you Buffalo is a great place to live. That said, we love our Bills and Levitre and Byrd are both staples in the organization and should get locked up during or before the season. The turnaround is happenening in Buffalo. Go BILLS!

  3. Byrd and Levitre will be signed. Neither should be under the impression that they are owed top 5 money, but the organization knows that the loss of either would have a negative impact on the team. Byrd was on track for top 5 pay but I think QBs have been more aware of his presence and avoided him since he had 5 games with back-to-back interceptions a couple seasons ago.

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