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Bills won’t use franchise tag on Jairus Byrd, or anyone

Jairus Byrd AP

One franchise tag was enough for the Bills and safety Jairus Byrd.

General Manager Doug Whaley announced today that the team wasn’t using the franchise tag on any of their players, setting the Pro Bowl safety into the open market.

Whaley said last week the team was both willing and able to tag Byrd, but that now sounds like nothing more than a temporary negotiating ploy.

Tagging Byrd again this year would have cost them $8.3 million, after he made $6.9 million on the tag last year.

It also opens the door for the Browns to pursue Byrd, given his success in Mike Pettine’s Bills defense last year.

The Browns held the door open for safety T.J. Ward when they used the transition tag on center Alex Mack, and Byrd would be a like-for-like replacement if Ward left.

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31 Responses to “Bills won’t use franchise tag on Jairus Byrd, or anyone”
  1. thepftpoet says: Mar 3, 2014 3:54 PM

    Jairus Byrd will come to Minnesota to pair up with Harrison Smith as the best safety combo in the NFL.

    Multiple Lombardi’s will be hoisted.

    I can already feel the purple and gold confetti raining down on the field.

  2. Pat says: Mar 3, 2014 3:56 PM

    Byrd and TJ Ward are the complete opposite in terms of playing style when it comes to Safety. Byrd would be an improvement though.

  3. thegregwitul says: Mar 3, 2014 3:57 PM

    Knowing the Bills, they’ll probably announce the resigning of Erik Pears next week while the best safety in the NFL waltzes out the door to sign with another team. Are they banking on receiving a high comp pick next season?What a joke.

  4. raiderraffeal says: Mar 3, 2014 4:01 PM

    Welcome to OAKLAND!!!!

  5. jgedgar70 says: Mar 3, 2014 4:02 PM

    Byrd has something like 147 career interceptions against Carolina. How about coming down here and doing all that intercepting FOR us?

  6. cjnbsc says: Mar 3, 2014 4:02 PM

    I was a big Bills fan for a very long time, but can hardly bother to care anymore because of things like this. They have ZERO interest in fielding a competitive team. They spend the minimum on players, let great ones walk for nothing, and hire the cheapest coaches and management they can find.

    The team is run to line the pockets of Ralph Wilson and nothing more. It’s not even just incompetence, it’s greed and indifference.

    They should just relocate the team if they aren’t bothering to try

    Great fans in Buffalo and they deserve far better.

  7. wnbasuperfan says: Mar 3, 2014 4:03 PM

    If you’re both willing and able to tag Byrd… why the heck not do it? They’ve got plenty of cap space.

    Kind of makes me embarrassed to be a Bills fan.

  8. upperdecker19 says: Mar 3, 2014 4:05 PM

    A battle of his former coaches appears inevitable. Chip Kelly (Oregon) on line 1 at 12:01 AM on March 1. Mike Pettine (Bills) on line 2. The choice is easy…..

  9. fitzmagic1212 says: Mar 3, 2014 4:05 PM

    im graduating college soon. last time the bills made the playoffs i was 6.

  10. talkingproud says: Mar 3, 2014 4:05 PM

    Losing Byrd to FA is the beginning of the end for the Bills lifers in the front office. Russ Brandon, Jeffrey Littman and Jim Overdorf have been playing budget ball since the 1980’s and it’s time for a change if they want to build a winner!

  11. freevinnycurry says: Mar 3, 2014 4:08 PM

    At what point does Buffalo contract?

  12. bgm9876 says: Mar 3, 2014 4:10 PM

    bills SHOULD use the franchise tag on byrd…. there stupid enough anyway. Don’t be stupider than you already are ? ok.

  13. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 3, 2014 4:14 PM

    It will be another sad day when the nfl and the wilsons take the Bills from a working class RUSTBELT CITY to a sunny town where no one really cares about football.

  14. mackcarrington says: Mar 3, 2014 4:20 PM

    I think that Mario Williams is the last high profile free agent that the Bills will sign, And they are not going to get into open bidding with other teams to keep their own quality free agents. They hired a low profile college coach and made a novice the GM. From this point forward they are only going with draft picks and low profile free agents. They are greasing the skids to ease their way out of town. When the fans have finally had enough, they will stop going to games. Then the Bills can say “We’re not getting any fan support.”, and the moving vans will be parked behind the stadium. Wait and see.

  15. wallcrasher3 says: Mar 3, 2014 4:22 PM

    Good riddance…..I hope he signs with Cleveland

  16. buddysguys says: Mar 3, 2014 4:29 PM

    they gave Byrd a large offer he will now compare to it other teams and go from there. I feel he is gone but i bet Buffalo gives the largest offer…i mean 100 mil for mario

  17. corkspop says: Mar 3, 2014 4:31 PM

    Sounds like the Bills made a credible offer to Byrd. He doesn’t want to play for Buffalo and will probably try to sign with a “contender”. Too bad. But, time to move on. Hopefully the Bills are active in the FA market and repeat last year’s draft success.

  18. listenup823 says: Mar 3, 2014 4:36 PM

    Denver baby!

  19. sclazo says: Mar 3, 2014 4:41 PM

    Come on down to Miami Mr. Byrd.

  20. jeffreyshulenburg says: Mar 3, 2014 4:45 PM

    I love how everyone stabs the Bills for this. They offered to make him the highest paid saftey in the league. Its not like they just let him out the door without trying.

    And then there are the trade hawks. Why didnt we tag and trade? Based on what weve heard, there is no trade market for Byrd. I mean, who would trade anything of value for a guy with no guarantee that he will play for them more than 1 season? If the Bills got anything for him it would be an insulting 4th or later. They may get that in comp picks by letting him walk.

    Point is, we dont know all the details. But once again it looks like the team made every logical effort in getting him to stay or get value for him and there is just no market.

  21. chaseutley says: Mar 3, 2014 4:51 PM

    My understanding of Ward vs. Byrd is that Ward is better inside the box; better against the run but not necessarily a force in coverage.

    Byrd is more of a ball-hawking centerfielder. He makes your secondary as a whole better against the pass, but isn’t the tackler that Ward is.

    Depending upon what your team is looking for, one may be a much better fit than the other.

  22. catquick says: Mar 3, 2014 4:55 PM

    Maybe the Bills see the flaws in his game as too much a liability to tag him. They did their due diligence and now have 8+ mil for new blood. Byrd has plantar faceitis 8n BOTH feet, which comes and goes at will, along with fairly serious groin problems. He can pick off passes at times, but is out of place on many long passing plays. On top of that, he’s NOT a team player, a whiner. Just last year Bills fans were telling him good riddance, now are bashing the FO. He could easily be a complete flop the rest of his career. 9 picks as a rook, 1 the next year. Fluky

  23. 80sbroncofan says: Mar 3, 2014 4:55 PM

    I think he will either end up in Cleveland or St. Louis. Both are in dire need of a Safety and Cleveland has the cap space and he is originally from St. Louis.

  24. emmac13 says: Mar 3, 2014 5:20 PM

    Byrd to Cleveland with Pettine. Ward goes to Philly to see Kelly.

  25. rclemente1 says: Mar 3, 2014 5:20 PM

    Hope Jairus Byrd signs where his father Gil Byrd played for many seasons..with the San Diego Chargers…Byrd alongside Weddle would make an awesome duo in the defensive backfield.

  26. crookedi91 says: Mar 3, 2014 5:48 PM

    The Bryd has been seen flying around Redskins Park,can’t land due to snowstorm..

  27. alshonbrandontandem says: Mar 3, 2014 6:29 PM

    Bear Down Chicago Bears – Welcome to Chicago Byrd!!!

  28. distracted9 says: Mar 3, 2014 7:59 PM

    I’d love either Byrd or Ward in Philly but I feel Byrd better fits our needs… and by need I mean probably the biggest hole in the NFL at our safety position.

  29. jimmyjamm03 says: Mar 3, 2014 9:37 PM

    The Bills have a plan! Sometimes you have to clear out the clutter to move forward.

  30. daltonsdumptruck says: Mar 3, 2014 10:36 PM

    $30 mil guaranteed over the first 3 years. Sounds like the Bills didn’t try to low ball here.

  31. itsjustmyopinionbut says: Mar 4, 2014 7:34 AM

    A lot of people want to blame the Bills for not wanting to “pay” him but maybe he just doesn’t want to play in Buffalo anymore. If he’s looking for VIP lounges and blow fresh off the boats, Buffalo is not the town for him.

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