Come on now. It’s way too early in the year for the Buffalo Bills to be making their fans cry. Usually that doesn’t happen until right around Thanksgiving. Just when there was reason to hope that the Bills were finally headed in the right direction as an organization, it seems as though the team is unwilling to pay Jairus Byrd what he deserves.
It’s rare that the amount of money an NFL player is asking for is equal to the amount they have actually earned, but in Byrd’s case, he deserves every penny. Byrd’s agent hinted on Friday that Jairus is asking for a similar contract to other star safeties such as Eric Weddle and Dashon Goldson. In other words, he is asking for approximately $40 million over the next five years. For a team that spent $100 million on the perennially disappointing Mario Williams last offseason, that’s practically pocket change. Especially when considering the hefty amount of cap space the Bills still possess.
And yet, with training camp kicking off this week, the Bills and Byrd are still miles apart in their contract negotiations. This is inexplicable, unacceptable and should be seen as a terrible sign of things to come for the Buffalo Bills organization.
Jairus Byrd is the team’s best safety by far. It may even be fair to call him their best defensive player overall, at least in terms of consistency and the ability to make big plays. He is a two-time pro bowler, and the only Buffalo Bill not named Kyle Williams to be selected to the team in half a decade. If you wish to be a successful NFL team, you cannot allow that level of talent to walk.
And maybe that’s why the Bills are not a successful NFL team.