Byrd, the franchise-tagged two-time Pro Bowl safety, has been stuck in an off-season long contract stalemate between the Bills and his agent, Eugene Parker. Buffalo placed the $6.916 million tag on Byrd on March 1, and the two sides made no progress on a long-term deal through July 15, the deadline for such a deal to be struck. Now, with only a one-year deal possible, Byrd is planning on missing training camp.
The Bills have a new coaching staff and a brand new defensive system being installed by coordinator Mike Pettine. Byrd, who skipped all of the team's off-season mini-camps and OTAs as well, has not yet met any of the new coaches. When he does report to the team, he'll have a lot of catching up to do.
And yes, unless Byrd and Parker are okay with the idea of leaving $406,823.53 game checks on the table, it's still far more likely than not that we'll see Byrd sign his franchise tender and report to the team before their September 8 matchup with New England in Week 1. Until then, Byrd is willing to sacrifice $1,700 per week - which is roughly what veterans are paid during camp, by the way - to try to leverage the Bills into offering a one-year deal with a no-tag clause for next off-season. It's doubtful that the Bills are so desperate to see Byrd in camp that they'd sign away any future leverage they have in retaining his services.
So the stalemate continues until further notice. When the Bills hit the practice field on Sunday evening, you can expect to see Aaron Williams and Da'Norris Searcy lining up as the first-team safeties, as they did throughout the spring. The Bills will also place Byrd on a reserve/did not report roster designation at some point, leaving 86 players on the active roster out of a maximum of 90.
It's been almost a month since Byrd's people and the Bills communicated. This one could last a while.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 25, 2013
Right now, all is not well between Jairus Byrd and #Bills. No communication. He'll keep them guessing and uncomfortable. Difficult times.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2013