Now that Jairus Byrd has finally signed his tender and is ready to get back on the field, it’s time for the Buffalo Bills to trade him. As good as Byrd is, the Bills may be better off trying to trade him and receive something valuable in return.
If it took this long for Byrd to sign and begin practicing with the Bills this season, he’s not going to want to re-sign with them next season, unless they overpay for him, which is not something a franchise like the Bills can afford to do. Before watching him leave in free agency next year, the Bills should at least get something in return for him; it’s not as if they will be a playoff contender this season, so adding more draft picks or young players in exchange for Byrd would benefit Buffalo in the long run.
Despite holding out and only having a couple weeks of practice before the regular season starts, Byrd could have quite a lot of value on the trade market. He’s one of the best safeties in the NFL, and his best years are likely ahead of him. If the Bills made him available, there would be several teams placing calls and asking what it would take to acquire him.
The Buffalo defense would certainly be weakened considerably this season without Byrd, but it may be better for the Bills to focus on the 2014 season and beyond. Since Byrd may not be a part of their future, it could make sense to replace him sooner rather than later.
Moreover, the fact that Byrd held out for so long doesn’t mesh with the “my way or the highway” attitude and approach of new head coach Doug Marrone. When he first took over the Syracuse Orange, Marrone pushed more than two dozen players out the door in one way or another because they wouldn’t adhere to the way Marrone wanted to run things, and it’s doubtful that he thinks favorably towards players that hold out for so long with a reasonable contract offer on the table.
If Byrd is willing to sign a long-term contract at a reasonable price this is a different conversation, but since Byrd has said that he wants to be the highest paid safety in the league, that’s unlikely to happen. Thus, the Bills may want to consider trading Byrd before he leaves town next offseason and they’re left with nothing.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.