After playing under the franchise tag last year Jairus Byrd was hopeful that he would be able to see what his worth was on the open market. Buffalo in presenting what they felt was a substantial contract offer has also given him the opportunity to test the market by not placing the tag on him. Byrd in an interview on ESPN expressed his gratitude to the Bills organization and still sees them in the mix for his future services.
Byrd was asked if he was surprised that the Bills did not place the franchise tag on him again. He said he was not surprised.
“They knew what was stance was based off of what happened last year,” said Byrd. “Ultimately they’re the ones that make the decisions so my reaction to it has nothing to do with how they decided to treat it. I’m thankful for the turnout for what has taken place and I have nothing but respect for the organization and the guys that are running it.”
Byrd and his agent obviously know with 31 other teams in the mix the chance to drive Byrd’s price higher is enhanced, but they’re not burning any bridges. The safety even commented on the quality pieces in place that he believes the Bills have on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m keeping the options open and the door open for anything. The door is not closed for Buffalo at all,” he said. “I’m just seeing what’s out there and there are no hard feelings on either side for me to them and likewise. I think they’re set up in a good position with EJ and at those speaking positions. Speaking on the secondary I know there is a lot of talent with Leodis McKelvin, Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Williams. That’s a talented secondary and Kiko (Alonso) and our D-line everyone knows about Mario and Kyle and Marcell. So it’s really good.”
Of course in the same interview Byrd provided the following answer when asked about the relationships he could be leaving behind in the Buffalo locker room.
“It’s bittersweet leaving a lot of friendships that I made with a lot of guys on the team,” said Byrd. “Spending five years together and coming in a lot of them you grew up with coming up as a rookie. With free agency it can be a good thing or a bad thing you never know. This is all new to me and I’m just trying to take it in stride and let my agent handle it and see what happens.
“I just want the situation where I can be a piece to the puzzle and get a team going and help them win some games and be in a good position to further my career and leave a legacy. You only have a certain amount of time in this game and I just want to try to put my stamp on it while I can.”
Tags: Jairus Byrd, NFL free agency
Posted in Inside the Bills