Now that the Buffalo Bills and safety Jairus Byrd were unable to work out a learn term extension prior to yesterday’s deadline for franchised players, he’ll be forced to play out this season under the tag.
Byrd is expected to hold out and not report to training camp and they won’t be able to fine him since he’s not under contract.
Former NFL defensive lineman Warren Sapp says Byrd needs to report to camp and prove himself this season before anyone should pay him.
“What you want isn’t what we’re talking about here in the NFL life,” said Sapp on the NFL Network, via the Buffalo News. “It’s about what the team deems you worthy of being paid. Sign your tender, go back to work and earn it like your rookie year when you came into the league and you went to the Pro Bowl. That’s what you do. Whenever somebody questions your play on the football field, you go out on the football field and you show it.
“I question him because you’ve been there the whole time with Buffalo, and if Buffalo doesn’t see you as an asset as far as their franchise player and the guy they want to put as their safety, [that says something]. If the team that watches you practice and play every day doesn’t deem you the best safety in the game, then you might want to look at yourself.”
One of the reasons Byrd won’t report to camp or play in the preseason is he doesn’t want to risk getting injured. Last season Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes was going into the final year of his contract with the Falcons and suffered an Achilles injury. If it wasn’t for that injury he would have received a large free agent contract this offseason.
Byrd will have to report to the Bills during the regular season. If he doesn’t, he won’t be eligible for free agency next offseason.