By not tagging safety Jairus Byrd again, the Bills effectively let him go into the market.
But Bills General Manager Doug Whaley actually thinks that may help him keep his former franchise player.
Whaley acknowledged that the two sides were still talking, and told John Kryk of the Toronto Sun that not tagging Byrd a second time was strategic.
“I think it just sets up a more amicable negotiation,” Whaley said. “Because last year — I wouldn’t say it was contentious, but as a player you always want to go out and see your true value, and we restricted that.
“So this year we said, ‘For the betterment of the Buffalo Bills, and to show you more or less good faith, we’re not going to use that option to restrict you from hitting the market. Let’s try to go full bore, with both of us focused on trying to get a deal done.’”
Whaley said the lines of communication were still open, and sounded an optimistic note about finding a deal before free agency opens next Tuesday.
“Hopeful, absolutely,” Whaley said. “He has a value [to us], and they have a value of what his camp thinks he’s worth, and we’re trying to meet in the middle and make it comfortable for both sides. Do you hate to lose him for nothing? Yes.”
The Bills have taken that chance, and with the weekend for other teams to make their pitch, should know soon whether it was worth it.