Speaking with The Buffalo News from Super Bowl XLVII, Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon told Tim Graham that the team has not yet begun serious contract talks with either of their top two impending free agents - free safety Jairus Byrd and left guard Andy Levitre. There's a very specific reason as to why.
Brandon tells Graham that Buffalo's new coaching staff, headlined by Doug Marrone, will "spend a majority of this month evaluating our roster, now that they're on the ground and going full speed ahead."
It's a strong bet that they'll evaluate the team's list of 19 free agents (14 of which are unrestricted) earlier than not in that process, what with the start of the new league year coming in just 38 short days. That still gives the Bills plenty of time to make serious headway in discussions with the free agents they do plan on re-signing, a list that Brandon strongly indicated would include Byrd and Levitre.
"We would love to have both guys back," Brandon told Graham.
Typically, the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is when teams and agents get together to spark negotiations over impending free agents. That was the case last year with Stevie Johnson, who had months of stalled talks re-ignited in Indianapolis; he signed a five-year contract extension with the team less than two weeks later. This year's Combine begins on February 20, and lasts through February 26.