Franchise designated player Jairus Byrd has yet to sign his franchise tender with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills and the star safety have until Monday to negotiate a long term contract, but the two have reportedly not have had any contact about a contract at all. Will Byrd sign for the long term?
Dominant safeties are hard to come by in today’s NFL. Byrd is known as one of the top safeties and Buffalo’s best defensive back. The two-time pro bowl selection is tied for first among safeties in the NFL since 2009 with 18 interceptions with the Houston Texans‘ Ed Reed. The second round pick in 2009 has started in 57 of the 62 games played since joining the Bills.
If there was any advice to give to the Bills right now it would be to pay the man. Byrd is 27 years old and is just entering his prime of his career. Byrd is tied at the top of the list in forced fumbles since 2009. None of the top paid safeties have half the number of fumbles as Byrd. The take away ability of Byrd would shine in the new aggressive defense of new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
We don’t know what the Bills would be offering Byrd, as far as dollars, nor do we know the certainty of Byrd’s mindset. If Byrd signs the franchise tender he would be under contract at $6.9 million for the 2013 season. It is safe to say that the Bills would be offering at least $7 million to Byrd with a tag of $6.9 million for a long term contract. Since the tag means that Byrd would be paid the average salary of a starting NFL safety, Byrd would most likely want to be paid top-5-safety- dollar amount. All of the top safeties such as Troy Polamalu, Dashon Goldson and Eric Weddle make approximately $7.5 to $9 million dollars a year. The $8 to $8.5 million dollar range would sound about right for a player like Byrd.
If either side had an advantage in this conflict it would be the Bills. Byrd isn’t going to be making any money while sitting at home on his couch. The Bills aren’t exactly in any Super Bowl contention, but not having Byrd would hurt their chances of having an improving season. The Bills aren’t going to chase down Byrd for this contract on a rebuilding year. It’s all in the superstars hands.
Joseph Sarro is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BroSarro.