Inside The Bills

Brandon: No trade request came from Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2013 – 11:09 am

Last week safety Jairus Byrd appeared surprised by reports that he had requested a trade following an offseason in which he and the Bills could not reach a long term contract agreement prior to the franchise player deadline of July 15th. On Wednesday morning, Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon refuted reports of a trade request.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Brandon said a trade request has not been made by Byrd.

“There was no trade request,” said Brandon. “That isn’t even a topic of conversation in this building.”

When asked if the team would even consider a deal for Byrd if they were approached by another club, Brandon didn’t completely dismiss the idea, but made it clear that moving Byrd off the roster is not in their plans.

“You always listen to anything from your fellow clubs, but that is not in our topic of conversation in our building right now,” said Brandon. “Our focus is seeing (Byrd) get back on the field.”

Brandon’s comments about Byrd ran in concert with those of head coach Doug Marrone, who has praised the safety’s approach on the field despite the disappointment of not reaching a long-term contract agreement with Buffalo.

“He’s the exact same guy he’s always been,” Brandon said. “Is he disappointed that we weren’t able to come to an agreement? Absolutely and we are as well. But that’s the business part that we don’t even like talking about. When it comes to the football end and the team end, he’s a great professional and a great teammate. J.B. has been nothing but a professional from the day he walked in the building and continues to do so.”

The team’s chief executive also reiterated that the organization’s goal remains the same as it did in the summer, to sign Byrd to a long-term extension. By league rule that cannot happen until after the regular season.

“We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to come to an agreement,” he said. “We worked hard to try to get him locked in long term. It didn’t happen, but he’s here and he’s on our team. When the opportunity arises and we can get into those discussions again we will go down the exact same path and try to get J.B. locked in.”


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LaCanfora handicaps Byrd talks

Posted by Chris Brown on June 18, 2013 – 2:54 pm

With the deadline for the Bills and franchise designated player Jairus Byrd now less than a month away, national reporters have begun to handicap the odds of a long term deal being struck between the two sides.

CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora is the latest to do so. Here’s what he wrote about the Bills’ situation with Byrd along with a host of other franchise players in similar circumstances.

Jairus Byrd, S, Buffalo Bills: There hasn’t been any real movement in these talks, according to sources, so based on that alone one might not be optimistic. But, man, the Bills cannot afford to risk losing any good young talent. This ball hawk is a difference maker, and if Buffalo can ever get that pass rush thing figured out, then the opportunities for Byrd to get his hands on the ball only increase. The Bills are sitting on about $20 million of cap space, fourth-most in the NFL, and getting Byrd off the tag will actually create more space for them over time. You don’t overspend like mad on Mario Williams only to let your homegrown talent depart, and franchising again Byrd in 2013 would just be more expensive.  It also isn’t exactly the way for a new coaching and front office regime to engender positive vibes in the locker room. 

Denver LT Ryan Clady, Dallas OLB Anthony Spencer, Chicago DT Henry Melton, Kansas City OT Branden Albert, Miami DT Randy Starks and Cincinnati DE Michael Johnson are all in the same situation as Byrd. Albert, Johnson and Starks could very well play under one-year deals. Whether Byrd falls into that same category remains to be seen.


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ESPN Analyst expects Byrd to be re-signed

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2013 – 9:44 am

At this point Jairus Byrd remains an unsigned franchise player of the Bills. He could sign his one-year franchise or he could reach a long term agreement with Buffalo. One ESPN analyst would be surprised if the situation wasn’t resolved with the latter.

ESPN AFC East blogger James Walker is expecting Byrd to sign a long term deal with the Bills to remain in Buffalo for the foreseeable future.

While there’s no debating it makes too much sense, it takes two sides to make a deal happen. And when it comes to franchise designated players money is the biggest obstacle. Here are two very interesting answers that Byrd gave me in a one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com last December.

I asked him knowing that his father played for one NFL club his entire career, would it influence him in wanting to re-sign with the Bills (keep in mind this was before he was designated as the franchise player).

“No,” said Byrd. “I mean he really didn’t have a chance back then. When he talked that was kind of pre-free agency and it got started right toward the end of his career so it wasn’t really something that was big back then. The game has changed a lot.”

I then asked him besides money what would play into his free agent decision making when assessing a situation.

“You’ve just got to look at where the team is headed, what’s going on with the situation,” he said. “You’ve got to take in a lot of things. That’s something that when the time comes I have to do.”

It’s truly a wait and see as to whether the Bills and Byrd can hammer out a long term deal.


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