It appears pending free agent safety Jairus Byrd might be heading to the unrestricted free agent market after all. A week after it was reported the Bills would do everything to prevent Byrd from leaving, it's now being reported that the 27 year old safety is unlikely to be designated with the franchise tag. The Bills officially have until March 3rd to tag him.
I'm hearing the #Bills explored all their options including a trade of Byrd and now they're unlikely to tag him.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) March 2, 2014
The offer to Byrd was explained to me as "substantial." The #Bills made a big effort to sign him long-term from what I'm told.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) March 2, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that the deal the Bills offered Byrd would have made him the highest paid safety in the NFL for a portion of the contract. He also notes the team still wants to retain him, but Byrd wants to test the open market. It's clear Byrd is looking for a serious pay day.
Byrd is the free agent target Eagles fans covet the most, according to a BGN poll from last month. And it's no surprise as to why. The Eagles lack viable safety options and Byrd is a talented player who would fill a big need. It remains to be seen if the Eagles are willing to dole out the kind of contract it's going to take to land Byrd. He won't come cheap, but the Eagles have a lot of cap space to work with.