Warren Sapp: Jairus Byrd needs to sign tender, go out and earn new contract

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Bills safety Jairus Byrd was unable to reach agreement on a long-term deal with the team before Monday’s deadline, a failure that came despite Bills General Manager Doug Whaley saying they “worked very hard” on a new contract.

There have been reports that Byrd is seeking a contract that would make him one of the best-paid safeties in the league alongside the likes of Troy Polamalu, Eric Weddle and Dashon Goldson. Since Byrd hasn’t signed his tender yet, he can stay away from training camp as a way to express his dissatisfaction with Buffalo’s efforts to get him signed. It’s a course of action that Warren Sapp advised Byrd to avoid on the NFL Network.

“Sign your tender, go back to work and earn it like your rookie year when you came into the league and you went to the Pro Bowl,” Sapp said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “That’s what you do. Whenever somebody questions your play on the football field, you go out on the football field and you show it. I question him because you’ve been there the whole time with Buffalo, and if Buffalo doesn’t see you as an asset as far as their franchise player and the guy they want to put as their safety, [that says something]. If the team that watches you practice and play every day doesn’t deem you the best safety in the game, then you might want to look at yourself.”

While Byrd has little recourse to get the deal he wants outside of showing up and playing at a high level this season, Sapp’s take on the team’s opinion being the last word on the value of a player is a bit puzzling. Teams have made mistakes in player evaluations before and the open market has given many players contracts far beyond what their original team believed they were worth, something Sapp likely remembers since he signed one with Oakland during his own playing days and something wide receiver Mike Wallace learned this offseason.

Byrd will have to wait until at least the end of the 2013 season for his own chance to hit the open market, which is really the only moment where anyone will be able to say for certain if he’s got unrealistic ideas about his contract.

22 responses to “Warren Sapp: Jairus Byrd needs to sign tender, go out and earn new contract

  1. Warren, how is bankruptcy treating you? And I like how you said you lost your Super Bowl rings “traveling”. Too bad you let your host wear it for the Super Bowl to show off his crews rings. Worry about you, not Byrd and Suh.

  2. Sapp an elder Statesman for the League, bad as Ray, Ray in the “Ring of Honor!” Sapp is Hernandez guilty?

  3. It’s rather simple: The Bills aren’t sure that Byrd is a fit for Pettine’s defense, so before committing millions and years to a guy who might be under utilized for the money he makes, they want to see how he fits first.

    If it works out, he gets paid, if not he moves along and the Bills have protected themselves with recent DB draft picks.

  4. @ abninf

    Unlike the baseball HOF, the football HOF must vote at least 5 guys in each year making it the Hall of Very Good. The baseball HOF has zero players going in this year. Not saying that baseball doesn’t have guys that don’t belong, but once you start putting in borderline guys, the flood gates are open.

    Bill Simmons has the best idea with regards to any HOF. It should be pyramid style. The very top of the pyramid is reserved for the very few icons of the game. The next level is for guys who deserve it but aren’t quite those icons. And the bottom level is for the borderline guys. This format separates the true greats while keeping them under the same roof as opposed to saying that they are all equal in stature.

  5. The elephant in the Room is he expects more money to play for the worst team in the worst division.

    He should play for the best team in the best division instead – The Ravens. If he signs for the Ravens for a Super Bowl Discount, then Buffalo can sign whoever the Ravens release as a result. It won’t matter…its the AFC L east.

  6. Sapp should shut his mouth on this one. The main reason I am agains the flippant use of the “franchise tag” is because the intention when the tag was created was to keep a Reggie White, Peyton Manning, or LeBron James-type from leaving you without your best star of all stars, not for having a one year lease with absolutely zero intention of signing long term. Now, no level of injury could prevent a Reggie White or top 5 player in the league from getting resigned, but severe injury could befall a player a “franchise player” who isn’t widely believed to be in the top 50 NFL players and that player could end up getting cut the following year.

    This one year lease is a clear abuse of the franchise tag because these franchise players aren’t franchise players at all, but a way of avoiding absolutely any financial risk outside of 1 year, and if the player gets hurt he may never get paid. Because the risk is all on the player and not the team Warren should shut his pie hole, though he clearly doesn’t know how.

  7. Most Buc fans would agree that Saap was/is an enormous jerk. That said , he was also an enormous force on the field and without him the Bucs would not have had that SB victory. He is in the HOF because of his play on the field not because he is a good human being or a role model! GO BUCS

  8. It’s amusing how Sapp’s assessments bring out the sour apples; more people tend to comment on his performance than the opinion’s coming from his mouth, of which he’s paid to make whether you like it or not.

    Sapp’s game was superb. He allowed Derrick Brooks the most accomplished outside linebacker of the modern era.

    Sapp may act like a loud-mouth buffoon, but he’s easily in the top five DT’s of all time. That in itself earns you the HOF.

  9. If Byrd went to Da U. Sapp would be demanding he be the highest paid guy in the league.

    I don’t recall sapp calling for Ed Reed to show up in Ravens camp when he was holding out.

  10. Option 1: Show up to camp, learn the defense really well, get into great condition and have a career season in a contract year.

    Option 2: Hold out, come in unprepared and out of shape.

    Which option do you believe is going to earn you the biggest contract in the long run?

  11. Isn’t it an unwritten rule for players not to comment on other players’ contract situations, outside of saying they prefer all their teammates to be in camp on time?

    So now its okay for former players to not honor that unwritten rule just so they can continue having a “successful” football-based income/job after their playing days? Apparently, Sapp thinks so- and that makes me think of him as a sellout.

  12. @mrpowers88

    So you’d prefer your commentary to come from analyst whom never played the game?

    Do tell what network you watch for NFL or any other sports coverage that doesn’t have what you call “sellouts”?

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