NFL free agency does not open for another two hours, but the rumor mill is starting to heat up in a very serious way, so it's time to open our official free agency open thread.
We'll be covering any hard news or relevant rumors about the Buffalo Bills and their free agents that emerge this afternoon and into the evening, and those posts will all be gathered in this StoryStream. For now, the big story remains the status of free safety Jairus Byrd.
The Cleveland Browns are reportedly on the verge of signing Donte Whitner to a lucrative contract, which could conceivably take them out of the running for Byrd (if they were ever in it to begin with, despite the obvious connection between Byrd and Mike Pettine). Another team that was reportedly interested in Byrd, the Miami Dolphins, signed safety Louis Delmas on Monday. That was just a one-year deal, so Miami could still be in play, but indications are that they are not.
Then there's this, from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (who has done most of the top-level reporting on the Byrd front over the last several days):
Would be really surprised if #Redskins were in on Jairus Byrd, from what I’m hearing. We’ll see his market. Return to Bills still possible— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2014
There are other reports out there that the Redskins are serious contenders for Byrd, though, and those mention the Philadelphia Eagles as a potential landing spot as well. Byrd has enough quality on the open market that other teams that haven't been made public are likely involved, as well - but all the same, it's looking like the safety market is moving quickly, and Byrd is still available.
Another indication that Byrd's market is shrinking: whispers that some teams are concerned about his plantar fasciitis issues.
Got this from an NFL executive not in the Jairus Byrd sweepstakes: "Good player, but not clean health. I would not give him a ton of money."— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 11, 2014
Don't rule out Jairus Byrd returning to the Bills if he can't get big money on the market. They'll pay him a fair amount.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 11, 2014
The comments section below is yours to discuss any other news and rumors that you see on the Internet this afternoon and evening; anything relevant to the Bills will be covered on the home page. Enjoy the first day of free agency, Bills fans!