Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd spoke with reporters for the first time this season on Monday, as he returned to the practice field following last week's franchise tag signing. He was peppered with questions about his mindset following months away from the team in a contract standoff, and came away as a man that's supremely frustrated by his current position.
"I was a little disappointed, honestly," Byrd said when asked for his reaction when the Bills used the franchise tag. "But I was hoping that there would be a resolution to this. That was my, just being honest, that was my initial feeling. I did think that initially it was going to take a while, but there would be a resolution to it."
Byrd, considered one of the best safeties in the NFL, was reportedly seeking a contract that would have paid him in the neighborhood of safeties like Eric Weddle and Dashon Goldson. Instead, he'll play on the one-year franchise tag for $6.916 million.
"I honestly don't know what - you said is there anything, like, do I want to prove to them anything - I guess in four years if I didn't (prove anything), I don't know what I can do. Because now their mindset is what it is," Byrd said.
In his four years as a pro, Byrd has accumulated 18 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and two touchdowns en route to two Pro Bowl bids and a second-team All-Pro selection in 2012.
"Sure. It's like you said, it’s disappointing," Byrd said when asked about not seeing eye-to-eye with the Bills on his value. "I keep going back to it. It’s just business. At the end of the day it is what it is. That’s the business side of things. They see things one way, we see things another way. You’ve got to let your agent handle things like that."
Byrd was also diplomatic upon his return to the team, repeatedly stating his focus is now on football as he dives headfirst into playing for a new coaching staff.
"I just have to go out there and focus on football, and just help this team in any way possible," Byrd said. "Coach Marrone has changed things around here, he's done a great job. I'm not trying to be a distraction at all to his team. This is his team, and I'm going to let him do what he does. They're off to a great start, the team's off to a great start. I'm just trying to be quiet and learn how he wants to do things."