The Buffalo Bills and free safety Jairus Byrd now have less than three days with which to work out a long-term contract extension. Albert Breer of NFL.com is the latest to report that said long-term deal is unlikely, but adds a detail to the story that hasn't yet been discussed as thoroughly as it should: Byrd still has not made a decision on whether or not he'll report to training camp.
Bills and Jairus Byrd, on the other hand, very unlikely to do a deal by Monday. Byrd hasn't decided if he'll report to camp, absent a deal.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 13, 2013
There have not been any definitive reports on Byrd's intentions prior to this nugget from Breer, which claims that Byrd doesn't yet have any intentions. Because Byrd's agent is Eugene Parker, who has orchestrated many of the most notable holdouts in recent memory, the idea that Byrd might sit out of training camp practices has been bandied about for months. Parker and Byrd would have something worth pursuing via skipping practices, as well: the possibility of negotiating a one-year contract with a clause preventing the Bills from using the franchise tag on Byrd again next off-season.
What remains to be seen is whether or not Parker believes that he'd have enough leverage after this deadline to swing that deal. Byrd can hold out as late as November 12 without losing an accrued season, but he'd also be leaving a large chunk of fully guaranteed money on the table to do so, and the Bills may be of the mind that a lengthy holdout is merely a bluff on Parker's part to try to secure that no-tag clause. As Tim Graham of The Buffalo News pointed out last month, however, Parker doesn't bluff - so it's also possible that Parker won't advise Byrd to hold out, and Byrd will sign and report to St. John Fisher College.
First, however, the 4PM deadline on Monday, July 15 has to be reached. With no extension likely, Parker and Byrd will have nearly two weeks to make their next plans before Bills training camp opens on July 28.