The Buffalo Bills were nervous when the end of training camp came, yet no deal had been struck between the team and free safety Jairus Byrd, who hasn’t signed his franchise tag tender and never reported for camp.
Buffalo placed a one-year franchise tag on Byrd in March, and he’s since has held out of organized team activities, minicamp and had given no indication that he’ll sign his tender. But that all changed Tuesday night, as Byrd ended what amounted to a 5-month holdout, but it may not be the end of it:
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that “ill will remains” between Byrd and the Buffalo Bills. Byrd isn’t demanding a trade, but the free safety is open to a deal, according to a person informed of Byrd’s thinking.
The expectation is that it will take several weeks for Byrd to get in playing shape. He’ll be “extra careful,” according to Rapoport. Teammates did send Byrd plays and notes during his holdout.
Byrd is regarded as one of the game’s best young safeties. He has 18 interceptions and over 300 tackles in his first four seasons, and his one-year tender is worth just $6.916 million, so a new deal would be beneficial to both sides.
As it stands, he’s reportedly seeking a deal similar to the five-year, $40 million contract that San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle earned in 2011. That would pay him $8 million annually.