According to WGR 550 in Buffalo, the Bills and safety Jairus Byrd aren’t currently working on a new contract and it would be a big surprise if both sides had something done by Monday’s deadline.
“I would be completely and utterly shocked if there was a deal done by Monday,” said one league source familiar with the team. “There are no talks going on. Someone would have to seriously cave.”
It sounds like Byrd is looking for Eric Weddle money.
“The reason why Byrd is getting tagged is for the simple fact that they just can’t get a deal done,” said another league source. “From what I understand, they’re pushing for numbers in and around what Eric Weddle is at and also keeping the Dashon Goldson deal in to perspective as well.”
Weddle signed a five-year, $40 million contract back in 2011. It seems like the Bills aren’t willing to pay Byrd that type of money.
“I don’t think, in my opinion, Buffalo values that position enough to pay at that level,” said the second league source. “Byrd is a good player. He definitely deserves to get paid at the top of the market. I just don’t think Buffalo is willing to cave to the demands that Eugene is making. That’s really what it’s boiling down to, and that’s why he didn’t get the extension they could have easily afforded to pay.”
The Bills also want to see how Byrd plays in a new defense this season.
“They’ll get him to play at a franchise level this year and see how he performs in the new defense,” the source said.
“If you’re Buffalo, why wouldn’t you? The only real answer is they just don’t value the position at that level enough to justify the dollars spent,” added the second source. “If you just look at the dynamic of, within the facility the evaluation of the player, how does the player value playing for that organization or in that city and then what the value the agent is placing upon the player, is forcing down the throat of the team. That’s why deals don’t get done.”
The Bills would be smart to pay Byrd. The NFL is a passing league and he’s a premiere safety, but I don’t think they’re willing to give him a big-time deal. I believe he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2014.