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Inside The Bills

Franchise tag goes up with cap

Posted by Chris Brown on February 28, 2014 – 7:19 pm

With the salary cap for 2014 now set at $133 million the cost of the franchise tag for safety has also increased.

When it was anticipated that the cap would increase to $126M to re-tag Byrd would’ve cost 120% of his previous year’s salary or $8.3M since it was the greater amount, but now it appears that the new salary cap figure will push the franchise figure for safeties to $8.43M.

Here are the rest of the franchise tag amounts by position courtesy of CBSSports Jason LaCanfora.

 


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Report: No tag provision for Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2013 – 9:56 pm

The Bills signing of Jairus Byrd to his franchise tender apparently did not contain any extra language concerning future use of the franchise tag.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer is reporting that there were no extra provisions in Byrd’s franchise contract indicating that language stipulating that the Bills cannot use the franchise tag on him in the future is not included in the pact.

So if for some reason the Bills and Byrd are unable to reach a long term agreement at the end of the regular season, Buffalo would be able to tag Byrd again if they chose to do so.


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NFL analyst says Byrd should sign and play

Posted by Chris Brown on July 16, 2013 – 10:12 am

With the deadline to sign franchise player Jairus Byrd to a long term deal now passed, signing the one-year franchise tender is essentially Byrd’s only option. Reports indicate that Byrd has not yet made a decision on whether he’s going to report to Bills training camp next weekend. But NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp had some advice for Byrd on how he should approach things now with the deadline passed to work out a multi-year agreement.

“It’s about what the team deems you worthy of being paid,” said Sapp. “Sign your tender, go back to work and earn it. That’s what you do. Whenever somebody questions your play on the football field you go out on the field and you show it.”

 

 


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Statement from Whaley on Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2013 – 4:15 pm

Here is Bills GM Doug Whaley’s statement on franchise player Jairus Byrd and the inability to get a long term contract agreement completed prior to today’s 4 pm deadline.

“We worked very hard to come to a long-term agreement with Jairus, but unfortunately, were unable to
reach one before today’s deadline,” said Whaley. “Our attention will now be focused on a one-year agreement with him and on Training Camp with our continued efforts to prepare our team for the upcoming season.”


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Report: Resolution on Byrd could take time

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2013 – 1:30 pm

While Denver franchise OT Ryan Clady was able to reach an agreement on a long term contract extension, the situation appears grim for the remaining seven franchise players across the league, including Jairus Byrd.

NFL.com just put together a list of the seven remaining franchise players and their prospects in landing a long term deal. For Byrd, who has yet to sign the franchise tender, it appears the situation is not expected to come to a defined resolution any time soon. Here’s their assessment of where things with Byrd could be headed.

Jairus Byrd, S ($6.9 million): Byrd is hamstrung by the tagability, if you will, of safeties. He doesn’t want to play under the tender, but the Buffalo Bills don’t want to pay him Eric Weddle-type guaranteed money when they can tag him at a much lower number. This situation could linger well into training camp and preseason. 

 


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Clady deal reveals agent expectations

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2013 – 11:04 am

Denver franchise player, OT Ryan Clady, has agreed to terms on a five-year $57.5M deal to remain with the Broncos long term. It paints a pretty clear picture as to where player agents expect the average salary to be if their client is going to sign a multi-year deal.

Clady’s deal will reportedly pay him between $10.5M and $11.5M a year, which is right at the top of the pay scale for left tackles. Knowing the franchise tag would’ve paid him $9.8M, this long term deal averages above and beyond the franchise tender.

Not that one long term contract applies to another, but the average of Clady’s long term deal ($11.5M) is almost $2M more per season than the tender ($9.8M).

If we applied that increase of $1.7M to a proposed long term contract for Jairus Byrd, the average on a long term deal would be $8.6M knowing the franchise tender for safeties is $6.9M.

It would not surprise me at all if this is the kind of money the Byrd camp is seeking, possibly more, with Troy Polamalu currently at the top of the scale in terms of average salary at $9.125M per year.


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Report: Bleak outlook for franchise players

Posted by Chris Brown on July 11, 2013 – 2:34 pm

Earlier in the week ESPN’s John Clayton was not optimistic for most of the franchise tagged players in the NFL to get long term extensions completed with their current clubs, including Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd. Now another national reporter is echoing that stance.

CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora isn’t optimistic that Byrd and the other franchised players around the league will get long term deals done prior to the Monday 4 pm deadline. LaCanfora left the door open a crack for the Bills, but still deemed a long term deal prior to Monday unlikely.


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Where signing franchise tender leaves Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2013 – 9:25 am

As we profiled in our Top 25 questions until training camp, whether Jairus Byrd is signed long term seems to be less and less likely as the calendar moves closer and closer to the July 15th deadline to do so. If the Bills franchise player ultimately chooses to sign the franchise tender offer of $6.916M to guarantee his salary this year, here’s where he’d rank in terms of average salary and base salary for the 2013 NFL season.

Below are the top average salaried players at the safety position.

1 – Troy Polamalu – Pittsburgh - $9.125M
2 – Eric Berry – Kansas City – $8.34M
3 – Dashon Goldson – Tampa Bay – $8.25M
4 – Eric Weddle – San Diego – $8M
5 – Antrel Rolle – NY Giants – $7.4M
6 – Jairus Byrd – Buffalo – $6.916M
7 – Antoine Bethea – Indianapolis – $6.75M

Here are the top base salary players at the safety position for 2013.

1 – Troy Polamalu – Pittsburgh – $7.5M
2 – Eric Berry – Kansas City - $7.01M
3 – Antrel Rolle – NY Giants – $7M
4 – Jairus Byrd – Buffalo – $6.916M
5 – Eric Weddle – San Diego – $6M

So while getting designated the franchise player is rarely well received by a player, they don’t lose in terms of their pay for the upcoming season should they choose to sign the franchise tender.


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Clayton: update on franchise tagged players

Posted by Chris Brown on July 8, 2013 – 3:36 pm

ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton in a report on the flaws of the franchise tag system, also provided an update on the Jairus Byrd situation with the Bills concerning a long term contract.

Clayton, who astutely pointed out that none of the eight franchised players this offseason have reached long-term deals, gave the following brief update on Byrd’s situation with Buffalo, from the point of view of the Byrd camp.

Byrd isn’t overly optimistic about getting long-term security with the Bills and might hold out. He’s unsigned.

Buffalo and Byrd have one week to negotiate a long term deal. We’ll have more on Byrd’s likelihood of agreeing to a long-term deal in our Top 25 Countdown to Training Camp Tuesday morning on the home page of Buffalobills.com.

 


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Tag of Byrd was non-exclusive

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 3:47 pm

The Bills put the franchise tag on Jairus Byrd Friday, but the nature of the tag was the question.

The club confirmed this afternoon that the franchise tag used was non-exclusive. That means that other NFL clubs can try and sign Byrd to an offer sheet. Buffalo has the right to match any offer, but if they choose not the Bills would be awarded a pair of first round picks by the club that signed Byrd away.

That’s unlikely to happen. It’s virtually unheard of for a team to part with a pair of first-round draft choices for a safety.


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Franchise tag refresher

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 2:27 pm

Now that Jairus Byrd has been given the franchise tag by the Bills, we thought we’d provide the nuts and bolts of the franchise tag as a refresher.

First, the franchise tag is essentially a one-year qualifying offer in which the team agrees to pay the player  the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position or 120% of his prior year’s salary, whichever is greater.

There are two designations of the franchise tag. Exclusive and non-exclusive.

The Bills did not disclose whether they used the non-exclusive or exclusive franchise tag. The non-exclusive franchise tag still allows other clubs the opportunity to sign Byrd to an offer sheet and gives the Bills the right to match any offer. If Byrd is signed by another club and Buffalo chooses not to match the Bills would be awarded a pair of first round draft choices from the club that signed Byrd.

The exclusive franchise tag prohibits any other club from negotiating with Byrd.

The Bills also have the opportunity to negotiate with Byrd’s camp in an effort to sign him to a long term contract extension up until July 15th.


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Byrd tweets, ‘It’s all good!’

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 1:21 pm

Bills S Jairus Byrd, who was tagged as the team’s franchise player Friday, tweeted an interesting Bible verse just hours before the Bills announced they would use the franchise tag on their Pro Bowl safety.

Byrd, who is a very religious man, tweeted the following approximately four hours prior to the news breaking that he was given the franchise tag.

The Bible verse Byrd cited reads as follows.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

 


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Report: Bills to place franchise tag on Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 12:51 pm

The report hardly comes as a surprise. With just over three days before the deadline to make use of the franchise or transition tag on a prospective free agent, the Bills are reportedly going to make use of their franchise tag by placing it on Jairus Byrd.

That according to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter. The franchise tag for a safety is $6.916M.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport later followed up with a report of his own.

 


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NFL franchise tag figures up from projections

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 11:34 am

The NFL released a projected set of franchise and transition tag figures by position a couple of months ago. Today they released the official figures.

With the previously released figures only being projected numbers the greatest change between the projected figures to the actual ones below took place at quarterback position with an increase of $254K, defensive end ($195K) and cornerback (194K).

At safety, a position where the Bills could make use of the franchise tag on impending free agent Jairus Byrd, the franchise tag went up $118K from a projected $6.798M to $6.916M.

Position  Franchise/Transition
QB: 14,896,000/13,068,000
RB: 8,219,000/6,970,000
WR: 10,537,000/8,867,000
TE: 6,066,000/5,194,000
OL: 9,828,000/8,709,000
DT: 8,450,000/7,039,000
DE: 11,175,000/9,151,000
LB: 9,619,000/8,358,000
CB: 10,854,000/9,095,000
S: 6,916,000/6,002,000
K/P: 2,977,000/2,700,000


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Projected franchise & transition tags

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2013 – 2:49 pm

For those that haven’t seen them here are the projected franchise and transition tag figures for 2013.

The league has not finalized these figures as of yet, but they will do so in March. The figures are a bit of a moving target because if one player is franchised, his salary is then factored in for the next player at that position that might be franchised thereby increasing the value of the figure.

2013 Projected franchise and transition tag tenders
CB: Franchise: $10.668         Transition: $8.939
DE: Franchise: $10.984         Transition: $8.994
DT: Franchise: $8.306           Transition: $6.919
K/P: Franchise: $2.926         Transition: $2.654
LB: Franchise: $9.455           Transition: $8.216
OL: Franchise: $9.660           Transition: $8.560
QB: Franchise: $14.642         Transition: $12.845
RB: Franchise: $8.079           Transition: $6.851
S: Franchise: $6.798             Transition: $5.899
TE: Franchise: $5.962            Transition: $5.105
WR: Franchise: $10.357        Transition: $8.716


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Tag for Stevie still in play

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2012 – 10:57 am

While a host of other NFL clubs are pulling the trigger with their franchise tag here on Friday, the Bills are going to wait until the last day that the tag is available to them before they make a decision on whether to use it on free agent WR Stevie Johnson.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this week, Bills GM Buddy Nix said the franchise tag is still an option that’s in play for Buffalo.

“We’ve got an option to either tag him or not,” Nix told the Howard Simon show Thursday. “We don’t have to make that decision until March the 5th and that’s when we’ll make it.”

The deadline to make use of the franchise tag for NFL clubs is Monday at 4 pm. When asked if he feels they can get a long term deal done with Johnson prior to the tag deadline Nix offered the following.

“Well we hope so,” he said. “As long as we’re talking we’ve got a chance.”


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Tags are flying

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2012 – 10:08 am

After the Raiders tagged S Tyvon Branch, the Falcons followed up with a tag of CB Brent Grimes, and there are a couple of other NFL clubs prepared to do the same in short order.

Here’s a list of other prospective free agents that could be tagged if their current clubs can’t reach a long term contract agreement prior to Monday’s tag deadline.

S Dashon Goldson – 49ers
CB Cortland Finnegan – Titans
QB Drew Brees – Saints
RB Ray Rice – Ravens
RB Marshawn Lynch – Seahawks
DE Calais Campbell – Cardinals
WR Wes Welker – Patriots
RB Matt Forte – Bears

Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley said last week that they have not ruled out using the franchise tag themselves if they’re unable to reach a long term agreement with Stevie Johnson.

“We’re in contact with his representatives and we’re trying very hard to get him back in the fold and get a deal done with him,” said Whaley.


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First FA WR tagged

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2012 – 5:39 pm

In a bumper crop of free agent wide receivers the Philadelphia Eagles applied the first franchise tag.

Philly tagged free agent WR DeSean Jackson on Thursday.

“We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that,” said Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman said.  “DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia.  It’s our understanding that he has the same desire.  We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.”

Reports are indicating that Oakland safety Tyvon Branch could be next in line to be tagged with the franchise label. Ravens RB Ray Rice is also expected to be tagged Friday. The deadline for teams to apply the tag is Monday March 5th.


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Tag time

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2012 – 10:47 am

Today is the first day NFL clubs can make use of their franchise tags, but there’s two weeks for teams to place it on one of their prospective free agents.

The deadline for tags is March 4th.


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Fan Friday 12-16

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2011 – 2:34 pm

Three games left for the Bills, but Fan Friday is here for you each and every week. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Chris,
Can you confirm that it would cost the Bills $9.4M to franchise Stevie Johnson for next year?

Thanks,
Jason K.

CB: Your number is in the range projected for 2012. In 2011 the franchise tag for a wide receiver was $11.3 million, but that number is going to come down considerably in 2012. That’s because under the new CBA the franchise tag figure will no longer be the average of the top five salaries at the position. Instead it will be the average of the highest-paid player at the position in each of the last five years.

So the number won’t be reached with just salary figures from 2011, but from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. That’s going to drive the figure down. Estimates are pegging the wide receiver figure to be between $9.4 and $9.8 million depending on whether the salary cap stays flat at $120M or goes up to $125M.

I’m not convinced that the Bills will make use of the franchise tag, especially in light of reports that Johnson is looking for less than the projected franchise figure per season. Signing him up long term would likely prove to be the better option.

 

2 – Chris,
What day does free agency start in 2012? I heard that it’s starting later this year. Thanks for your help!

Brandon Pease

CB: Free agency will start later than the typical March 1st date in 2012. The market will not open until March 13th and it will open at 4 pm, not midnight.

 

3 - Hi Chris,

I know we signed Fitz to a long term deal, but as disgruntled Bills fan I think we should trade all our draft picks this year for Luck & next year’s # 1 if we have to. They’re saying Luck is better than Elway & Manning so I can see trading all those picks. If we can’t get Luck, how about moving up to get Barkley? We need a franchise QB & Fitz is not the answer. At best he is probably a 8-8 QB. I like Fitz, but he is not going to take this team to the next level. Also why don’t we go back to playing the 4-3 defense permanently. Warren Sapp & Jamie Dukes said that in the beginning of the season. Forget the 3-4 it does not work. Williams & Dareus in the middle who is going to run on us. thank you!!

ICON77

CB: First of all to say he’s better than Manning or Elway is not something I’ve heard anyone say. All I’ve heard is he’s the best QB prospect since Manning in ’98. Trading your entire draft for one player is foolhardy. I respect the need for a team to have a franchise quarterback in this league now more than ever, but the holes that still exist on this team are too numerous to toss away an entire draft’s worth of choices for one player.

I think there might be more merit to your 4-3 defense request. My only concern there is where do you put Nick Barnett? Shep is the bigger and stouter run defender so he would presumably be your MLB. Barnett could probably play WLB because he runs well, but having never seen him in that role I’m not sure about it.

 

4 – Hey Chris,
With the way things are going and their remaining schedule, a 5-11 finish seems very possible. It’s still a little premature for that, but hypothetically if that were to happen, that would get Buffalo a very nice draft pick, so do you think they should take a quarterback like Matt Barkley or Landry Jones, if one is still available when they pick?

At the very least, it would give Fitzpatrick competition for his job, so if he doesn’t perform, he’s not going to start. If Fitz can prove himself and bring back the magic next year, then you could always trade a guy like Barkley or Jones for a very nice return. If Fitz doesn’t work out, then you’ve got a very promising young quarterback to take over. With Fitz’s contract, it would suck having him as a backup, but at the same time, you can’t start him if he’s not performing just because of his contract.

Thanks,
Jack

CB: I think Barkley won’t be there assuming the Bills pick around 7 or 8. Landry Jones would be there, but I’m not sure he’s deserving of that value (top 10). Knowing Buffalo is committed to Fitz I think it makes getting a top flight pass rusher trump everything if the right one is there when the Bills are on the clock.

That’s not to say your QB idea doesn’t have merit. If the right signal caller is there when the Bills pick Buddy Nix said last year that you have to take him no matter what. So it shouldn’t be completely dismissed.

 

5 - Chris,

Happy Holidays and a great 2012 to you and yours!

I have concerns about the receiving corps next year. A playmaker opposite Stevie has got to emerge. Have the coaches seen enough to make them think Brad Smith could be that guy, or do you think we need to invest a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a potential no. 2 WR?

Also, you’ve stated that Gailey places a high value on Roscoe Parrish’s abilities, and that you expect Roscoe to stick. I, however, believe that David Nelson has truly earned the slot receiver spot. I’d hate to see David lose playing time, he will only get better. Will the coaches simply hand over the slot receiver role to a healthy Roscoe?

Thanks so much,
Kenny in Indiana

CB: I still think Roscoe can be a valuable contributor to the offense, but I don’t believe it has to be at the expense of David Nelson. This team’s most popular formation when everyone was healthy was a 4 WR, 1 back set. So Parrish and Nelson can be on the field at the same time. Minus Roscoe and Easley there was a lack of top end speed at the position on the field. Speed isn’t everything at receiver, but it helps.

As for putting a draft priority on receiver I would expect them to consider a speed wideout in the middle rounds knowing Easley’s delicate injury history. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.


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