Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News is reporting that Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd and his agent, Eugene Parker, are attempting to orchestrate a trade out of Buffalo by the NFL trade deadline of October 29. Gaughan cites two sources in the report - one an executive on another NFL team, and the other a player agent that does not work for Byrd.
Byrd has been back in Orchard Park for two weeks following a months-long contract dispute between he and the Bills that ultimately led to his signing a one-year, $6.916 million franchise tender in late August. He missed the entirety of training camp, is not happy with the Bills' negotiating stance when the two sides were trying to hammer out a long-term agreement prior to July 15, and is now battling a case of plantar fasciitis as he attempts to get back into the lineup.
Whether or not Byrd and Parker will be able to find a team by Week 8 that's willing to both part with fair compensation and pay Byrd as one of the league's highest-paid safeties next March remains to be seen - but the task is made more difficult by the fact that Byrd is currently hampered by injury. Then there's the Bills to consider; they may not be willing to part with their star safety cheaply.
Byrd's one-year franchise tender does not contain language that prevents the Bills from using the tag again next off-season; though it would cost them $8.3 million this time around, they'd have the power to keep Byrd from reaching the open market for a second straight off-season. Given the lack of movement on the negotiation front this past summer, it's hard to envision the two sides making much progress should that situation arise.
Regardless of what may happen down the line on the trade front, one thing seems clear: the more we hear about the current state of affairs between the Bills and Byrd, the less likely it seems that the two-time Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro safety will be in Buffalo for the long haul.
The Bills currently have six safeties under contract, having just signed veteran Jim Leonhard to the roster earlier this week. Aaron Williams and Da'Norris Searcy were the team's starters while Byrd skipped training camp this summer, and they also spent mid-round picks on rookies Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks, as well.