Bills G.M. Whaley hopes not tagging Byrd gives him a chance


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.

6 responses to “Bills G.M. Whaley hopes not tagging Byrd gives him a chance

  1. Sounds like he’s really motivated to keep him. It’s nice to know that they have established a value for him and are definitely willing to pay more than that value. He’s already volunteering to overpay him. Either he’s a horrible business negotiator or the value they placed on him is a low-ball value.

    This wouldn’t perhaps be a case where the team gave him a low-ball offer and the agent countered with a high-ball offer rendering both numerical frames of reference as meaningless? Nah definitely not one of those situations. According to Whaley this is going to be a case where the team agrees to overpay him and the agent agrees to take less than what he’s worth. Makes perfect sense. Perfect sense as to why the Bills are drafting 9th.

  2. Is Whaley a politician or something in his spare time? The real words should have been we are not going to give you a 20% raise on your last tag because we cannot afford it/don’t think you are worth it. Don’t come over as if you are doing the player a big favor. My money is with him playing somewhere else next season.

  3. While it’s terrible to lose him, the Bills need help against the run and Byrd’s strength is against the pass. Wise decision in not overpaying for him.

  4. Oakland can afford to splurge on a couple of expensive free agents, and this guy should be one of them. Their only chance to be competitive in their division is to get decent on defense in a hurry, and Byrd would certainly help that cause.

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