Jairus Byrd wants to be NFL's highest-paid safety, per report

Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Why are the Bills and Jairus Byrd at an impasse? Could it be because Eugene Parker wants Byrd to be the NFL's highest-paid safety?

Throughout the months-long impasse between the Buffalo Bills and franchised free safety Jairus Byrd, the only report we'd seen on what type of contract Byrd and agent Eugene Parker are demanding came last week, when WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia cited a source claiming that Byrd was seeking a deal similar to those signed by Eric Weddle and Dashon Goldson in recent seasons.

Check that: Byrd and Parker are looking for a contract in excess of those deals, according to WGRZ's Adam Benigni.

The highest-paid safety in the NFL, for the record, is Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, whose six-year, $50 million contract (with $25.7 million guaranteed) supersedes the NFL's current safety market. Instead, his contract was based on the NFL's old rookie salary system, which paid him like the No. 5 overall pick he was in the last year prior to the new CBA's rookie wage scale.

Beyond Berry, there are two figures to point at, courtesy of Spotrac.com: Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers averages $9.125 million per season on his current deal, and the aforementioned Weddle sets the bar with $19 million guaranteed on his deal (aside from Berry's Top 5 guarantees). Depending on their point of view, Parker and Byrd could be looking for compensation in excess of one or both of those figures, if Benigni's source is right.

The deadline for the Bills and Byrd to agree to a long-term contract extension is this afternoon, but it's fairly clear at this point that that isn't happening.

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