Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd decided to post on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon, and now - less than two days later - we are publishing a post about one of those tweets because of the crazy amount of guesswork and loose interpretations being made by Bills fans regarding said tweet. (A lot of that guesswork has landed in our email inbox; hence this post.)
The tweet in question:
#BillsMafia y'all are dope, i will always have much respect for you.— jairus byrd (@jairusbyrd) July 3, 2013
Naturally, this set the corner of the Internet dedicated to the Bills abuzz, with fans instantly speculating that Byrd's tweet hinted at his being disgruntled about negotiations with the Bills on a long-term contract extension. Some even went so far as to claim that this tweet was Byrd "saying goodbye" to Bills fans, for whom he clearly has a lot of respect.
Pump the brakes.
The deadline for teams to sign franchise tagged players to multi-year deals is July 15 - or, if you rather, a week from this coming Monday. There is more than enough time for a deal to be completed; in fact, there's so much time between today and that deadline that it wouldn't be surprising at all if Eugene Parker and Russ Brandon haven't even spoken to each other yet about Byrd. (It'd be hard for Byrd to be "saying goodbye" if negotiations hadn't even started or resumed yet, right?)
It's understandable for fans to want a long-term contract in Byrd's hands as of four months ago, but understand also that these prolonged negotiation processes happen in waves: there was undoubtedly some negotiating leading up to the franchise tag deadline in March, and when it became apparent to the Bills that they wouldn't be able to close the gap quickly enough, they tagged Byrd. If the two sides have spoken since, nothing major would have happened, as neither side will have wanted to appear desperate or jump the gun in the intervening months. Deadlines spur action (Andrew Brandt should trademark that phrase). The action will resume soon - and if it already has, there's plenty of time to make a deal happen.
Until then, Bills fans, let Byrd tweet in peace with the knowledge that he respects you. And if you have to obsessively search Twitter for hidden meanings, you'll want to be glued to your computer screens roughly next weekend.