If Jairus Byrd is so eager to leave town, then the Buffalo Bills should oblige him. That might be easier said than done, however, as very few teams are likely to take on an injured player forcing his way to another organization while simultaneously demanding a deal that would make him the highest-paid safety in the league.
Seriously, Byrd needs to temper his own expectations a bit here, and stop listening to his agent.
Until recently, it seemed as though the Bills were to blame for failing to extend the contract of their best defensive player. That was until word came out that Byrd was demanding ‘no. 1′ safety money and refusing offers from the Bills that would simply make him one of the four or five highest-paid safeties in the NFL.
Don’t get me wrong, Byrd is a great player, and I would even go so far as to call him one of the best safeties in the league, but the best? I’m not so sure.
The Bills drafted Byrd and helped develop him into the dynamic ball-hawk he is today. For once, the organization appears to be trending in the right direction, having finally found their franchise quarterback in E.J. Manuel and surrounding him with plenty of young, dynamic talent on both sides of the ball.
Mike Pettine‘s new defense is designed to put its personnel in position to be aggressive in making plays. Byrd has a chance to be part of something special as a vital piece on a potential playoff squad. Instead, he’s choosing to force his way out of Buffalo after holding out all summer and (of course) injuring himself immediately upon returning.
For a team to be successful, every player has to be on the same page. It would be a shame for Buffalo to lose one of it’s most consistent play-makers, but an even bigger shame for the franchise to be distracted and bogged down by trade rumors all year.
There’s no sense in forcing Byrd to stick around if he won’t be inspired to play to his potential. Not to mention that if the Bills do keep Byrd on the squad, there’s always the chance he will exacerbate his injury and cause his trade value to plummet. The Bills might as well cut their losses before that happens.