Report: Bills unlikely to tag Byrd or sign him before free agency

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Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said that every option was on the table in regard to safety Jairus Byrd as he approaches free agency, but it appears that the Bills have eliminated one of those options just before the deadline to use the franchise tag.

Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 reports that the Bills are unlikely to use the tag on Byrd for the second straight season. And despite making what Buscaglia reports was a  “substantial” offer for a contract that would keep Byrd off the open market, it also looks unlikely that the Bills will be able to sign Byrd before free agency opens on March 11.

Among the options the Bills reportedly considered was tagging Byrd with the intention of trading him, but the possibility that they would face another protracted holdout from Byrd if they couldn’t find a taker in a trade helped quash that notion. Byrd would make $8.3 million if tagged after being tagged last year.

The Browns, now coached by former Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, reportedly have interest in Byrd. They’ll surely have company if Byrd is indeed free to fly away from Buffalo when free agency gets underway.

92 responses to “Report: Bills unlikely to tag Byrd or sign him before free agency

  1. How can a team let a Pro Bowl player walk in his prime and get nothing in return?!?! The Bills are a joke….and that’s coming from a lifetime fan raised in Buffalo.

  2. Consider going to GB, they could use a S. I know Burnett had a down year, but I think he would improve with the pairing of a good safety next to him.

  3. Bengals have a need for a safety. He would be a good addition with Reggie Nelson on the other side.

  4. If the Bills are not going to tag Byrd he will be a free agent. No way he takes it this far and doesn’t test his value in the free agent market.

  5. The Falcons will release S Thomas DeCoud, the Pro Bowler from 2 years ago and try to sign Byrd. Byrd + William “The Missouri Hammer” Moore will be stellar.

  6. The guy can play, but sounds like a big headache. I think a lot of teams that could use him, will steer clear because of this very thing.

  7. jets need a playmaker at safety and have a boatload of cap space. hope we get him!

  8. wonder if Chip Kelly would like to get one of his former players in Philly …hope so !

  9. So all you guys want him on your team for 9+ million a year…..that’s way too much money to spend on a SAFETY…..but I guess he’s gonna come to the Packers or the Browns for a discount…yall act like the Bills offered him 2 million a year

  10. Every team could use this guy. He’s a stud. Personally, I think he’d look great in midnight green, but I don’t see the birds spending too much money on byrd

  11. Bills gonna lose him like they did whitner?
    What is wrong with the management?
    Keep the probowlers!

  12. I am embarrassed to be a bills fan today. Plenty of money to give Fitzpatrick, Stevie, Mario, etc but when it’s time to pay Jbyrd it’s a constant battle. Keep in mind that he is so much more consistent than those other guys that it’s not even funny. Add Jbyrd to the list of guys the Bills let walk away in their prime. Pat Williams, fletcher, spikes, Clements, Winfield, peters, Levitre, lynch. I can name thirty off the top of my head. Just appalling.

  13. Nothing the Bills can do when they offer him $9M per. Nobody wants to trade for a rental safety. Safety is not exactly a position that is hard to find. Duke Williams will plug in or they will get one in FA. Screw Byrd and Parker. Eugene Parker should be banned from being a sports agent.

  14. Gotta imagine the eagles make a run at him. They’re in desperate need of a safety, ton of cap room, and Byrd played for Kelly at Oregon. Seems like a pretty good fit to me…

  15. Memo to Phil Emery: Whatever it takes. Nobody needs him more than the bears right now.

  16. He has the same agent as Peters did and they have no intention of signing with the Bills, You see it is about ego not football.

  17. What a joke! Whaley and Brandon make up the worst front office in football. The tag is there for a reason, even if its just to send a message to the rest of the league. You can’t let a player of this caliber walk and not get anything in return. Pathetic.

  18. It was also reported that a deal the bills offered him would make him the highest paid safety for the first two years… Guess he wants tons of cash, I would pay it in a heart beat though, if the bills do not resign him they are a TOTAL joke

  19. Come to Chicago my friend. Release peppers and sign Byrd. Our Secondary was a joke last year, this guy helps us right away.

  20. Hard to believe that a player of this caliber who is 27 years old could be a FA. As a Dolphin fan I believe the Bills have a lot of talent on defense ( Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, M. Dareus, Kiko Alonso, etc.) but they’d be making a mistake here if they fail to keep him.

    IF he hits FA, I expect a bidding war for Byrd & at the end of the day–this guy is going to break the bank. Good for him.

  21. The Bills also found this kid Nickell Robey who can ball. Kid wasn’t even drafted & looked like a possible starter as a rookie.

    If they kept Byrd & if E.J. Manuel steps up @ QB I actually think they’d be pretty good BUT who knows if either will happen. I think the Bills should be one of the teams considering a good backup like McCown in case Manuel struggles.

  22. Seriously People, The Bills offered Byrd a 4/yr $38.5 million contract that would have made him the highest paid safety in the league! What more can you do to keep someone? What are they supposed to do… Offer him 50-60 million? Byrd has Plantar Fasciitis, which comes and goes whenever it feels like for the rest of your life, No It’s not curable. Plantar Fasciitis kept him out of games last season, and I’m sure it will hinder him for years to come. Yes he is a pro bowl caliber player, but he’s also a player with health issues. If the Bills would have inked him for big money, Ya’ll would have trashed them for that too. IMO, they did what they could. They offered to pay him as the best safety in the league, they’ve gone to the bargaining table several times to get it done too. His Agent has been known to fill his client’s heads with visions of a world where there is no war, plenty of peace and love and purple rubber trees that flower $100 bills. Parker is greedy and tough to work with. The Bills did what they could without destroying the team to get it done. There is nothing else to say, they tried.

  23. Try reading between the lines, the Bills offered him enough money relative to what safeties are paid these days and Byrd has decided not to sign.

    That means he wants more than the money, he wants a chance to win and play well into January. So teams like the Browns, Vikings, and Raiders can talk about Byrd all they want, he will never even look their way.

  24. Marshawn lynch, byrd, and I think jason peters. Letting players like this get away does not help you build a great team. As a bucs fan I dont have a lot of room to talk but dang man those are pro bowlers.

  25. I’m over players that don’t want to be here. Whaley and Marrone made it clear when they got here that if you don’t want to be a Bill then we don’t want you. I, for one, love it. They made him a big offer, he didn’t want it. Goodbye. It sends a message to the rest of the league that no player is bigger then the team. I realize Byrd thinks he’s a great player, but with him as part of our defense, we were terrible. He doesn’t tackle or play the run. He’s one dimensional. The dimension that he does offer is he gets picks. All of those picks and we were still terrible. None of us armchair QB’s watch ALL the film, though. Remember that. There may be weaknesses to his game that this coaching staff isn’t willing to pay through the nose to keep. 9mil for a safety? No way. Bring is Louis Delmas or whoever you’d like. I’m tired of guys who’d rather be elsewhere.

  26. I’m sorry, why would the Bills offer 30 million over three years and then not tag him for 8 plus million?

    If the guy doesnt report to camp you can pull the 8 million offer and give him the minimum.

  27. Eagles will make a run for his services and if the competition for his services is browns, he should end up in philly! He’d make a big difference for an up and coming D. Should be fun watching eagle football thus season again.

  28. If he doesn’t want to play in Buffalo, why would you use the tag to keep a guy who would not show up to play if you kept him. Walk away knowing that you offered him a more than fair deal, and move on. Lynch didn’t want to be a Bill, Peters and Whitner wanted more money, Levitre wanted out. They are changing the culture of the locker room, if you don’t want to be a Bill, you can go, they want PLAYERS, system guys who buy into what they are trying to do as an NFL team. I applaud that they AREN’T giving him HUGE dollars, save that money and bring in a Safety who wants to play. GO BILLS!!!!!

  29. He’s decided to test FA. It has NOTHING to do with the money and EVERYTHING to do with winning.

    He’ll sign somewhere – for less than what Buffalo offered. Bufflao can claim they wanted to keep him, made an offer etc and feel good about things – all while ignoring the fact that he left because he wants to WIN and that’s something that’s not going to happen there.

  30. For the people saying the Bills are a joke; the offer they made him apparently would have made him the highest paid safety in the NFL for the first two years. This sounds more like he doesn’t want to play for Buffalo more than anything.

  31. I’d be surprised if they don’t tag him and trade him. They can get something for him if he is such a hot commodity. Even if you can’t get a first, better to get something to help your team. This story may have no validity. We will find out tomorrow.

  32. It’ll be either Philly or Cleveland. That would be one scary secondary if the Browns tag Ward, and sign Byrd! Along with Haden, YIKES!

  33. The Eagles got burned by big-time defensive free agents not that long ago. They might make a run at him, but I don’t expect them to sign him if he wants too much money.

  34. Byrd, Ward, Haden, plus rumors of Sam Shields or possibly drafting someone early? Scary!

    Byrd’s connection with Cleve is legit. He can play for his former DC Mike Pettine. Also, he’d be playing with his former Oregon teammate Ward.

    Browns secondary would be set for years. Now about that QB situation….

  35. For those arguing we should let him walk because he doesn’t want to play in Buffalo, you’re missing the point. You can let a player walk if he doesn’t want to be here, I get that, but you’re holding all the cards here and letting him go for absolutely nothing in return is stupid. He is an asset, get at least something in return for your investment. You own his rights, the CBA says so, to let him walk for nothing is crazy. You can’t tell me there isn’t a team who wouldn’t give you a second or a third round pick for him. He wants to play hard ball, fine, tag him and let him risk getting hurt and walk next year, but to fold and say okay you win sends a message of weakness, I don’t care what anyone says. What do you do next time someone just wants to leave?

  36. As a Bills fan it is pointless to even get mad at this point. The Bills are basically a minor league farm team for the NFL. All good players leave and become successful elsewhere The Bills really need to leave Buffalo and save the taxpayers of Erie County money. As soon as Ralph Wilson passes away, I really hope they leave town. I for one and sick of the NFL’s greed and the product is beginning to suffer (TV timeouts, commercials, replay etc.) The Bills are an embarrassment and reflect negatively on the good people of WNY. Let the Bills die and move on.

  37. I’d love to see him in Philly, but if he’s in “Pay Me” mode, I’d rather see the Eagles pursue a more affordable guy like Malcolm Jenkins.

  38. Kingcasper, I am sure u are a bills fan lol. If by chance u are, find another team, u don’t deserve to wear our colors

  39. If the Bills made the offer many are saying (I have no idea) in the 9m/yr range….well then it seems clear that

    1. He doesnt want to play for the Bills. Anything short of franchising him and he is gone
    2. His motives clearly arent primarily money as that offer would make him a top 3 paid safety. So then we have to decide is it because…
    a. He wants to play for a winner. If so, dont bother Cleveland or NYJ or Oakland and likely Chicago.
    b. He wants to to play for someone he enjoys or prefers playing for. In this case Cleveland or Philly would be his top landing spots.

    Personally, I dont see why Buffalo would offer him top safety money (if that is true), when franchising him is cheaper and gives time to draft or find a replacement…..or get some draft picks out of it as a worst case scenerio.

  40. Leave the $30 million in the first 3 years deal on the table and tag him. If he wants to hold out, let him hold out.

  41. What a joke! Whaley and Brandon make up the worst front office in football. The tag is there for a reason, even if its just to send a message to the rest of the league. You can’t let a player of this caliber walk and not get anything in return. Pathetic.

    CLearly you havent seen what has happened in Miami and Cleveland this offseason

  42. CLearly you havent seen what has happened in Miami and Cleveland this offseason

    I have seen what has happened in Cleveland and Miami this offseason and you can add Buffalo to the list of extremely dysfunctional NFL franchises.

  43. joemac1114 says:
    Mar 2, 2014 1:47 PM
    Some days it is tough to remain an enthusiastic Bills fan.


    Some decades its tough to remain an enthusiastic Bills fan. #NextYear

  44. Welcome to the Dawg Pound Byrd! The browns secondary will be be tops in the AFC if they can pull this off, if Ward stays 3 pro bowlers in secondary alone. Wow, Sign Orakpo while your at it Farmer, and you will win this fanbase over instantly!

  45. Browns FO may seem dysfunctional, but Haslam was just clearing out the garbage that was Lombardi and Banner. More players will want to play with Farmer as GM.

  46. Add Jbyrd to the list of guys the Bills let walk away in their prime. Pat Williams, fletcher, spikes, Clements, Winfield, peters, Levitre, lynch. I can name thirty off the top of my head.

    Fletcher was not in his prime when the Bills let him go. Neither was Spikes who I believe still has not played in a playoff game. Peters can not remain healthy, has he played a full season for the Eagles? Levitre left for more money than any other team in the NFL was prepared to pay him. Lynch was traded because he was a bad actor in Buffalo.

    On the other hand the Bills have made mistakes in signing players to big money deals, like Mario Williams.

  47. Need you in Green Bay! Sam shields is gone and lately ted T. Has been picking busts minus Micah Hyde. We need a vet to build around and your explosiveness would be great !!

  48. Quite understandable why Byrd would want to get out of Buffalo. The team always sucks, the city sucks and he’ll get as much or more money elsewhere. So it seems like a no brainer to me.

  49. Browns FO may seem dysfunctional, but Haslam was just clearing out the garbage that was Lombardi and Banner. More players will want to play with Farmer as GM.

    Not to be confused with the same Haslam who brought those same guys in, recently admitted that he made an offer for Harbaugh, fired his coach after one year while admitting that he settled for him and didnt really want him, acknowledged that nobody except mike pettine wanted the job, hired him, then promoted a GM, who was not part of the coach hiring process and am I forgetting anything else?
    Cleveland fans are so distorted in their view of where exactly Cleveland is.

    to be fair, Bills fans are in full understanding that they suck until further notice but if you want to go spend 10 million/year on a safety just remember this: The Bills secondary played very well for the most part while Byrd p*ssied out for half the season….

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