There seemed to have been bad blood between the Buffalo Bills and franchise S Jairus Byrd in the offseason, and it hasn’t gotten any better after Byrd signed his franchise tender and reported to camp.
The Buffalo News reported today that Byrd and his agent are trying to orchestrate a trade out of Buffalo. Obviously, the report is not surprising since there is tension in the relationship, but the timing is suspect as Byrd is questionable for opening day with plantar fasciitis in his foot.
Plantar faciitis is a condition in the foot with no cure. It must be managed with cortisone shots and rest, massaging, etc. It is an injury that could linger all season long for Byrd. That right there is the first thing that hurts his value. Of course, it is interesting that Byrd held out until the end of training camp so as not to get injured, yet appears on the Week 1 injury report with an injury that wouldn’t have been inflicted in a few days of practice.
You could probably make the assumption that both sides have already explored a trade with possible partners, and the fact that Byrd remains a Buffalo Bill tells you that the right deal wasn’t out there. If I’m the Bills, I hold firm on this and only make a move if it makes sense for them.
Byrd signed his tender and if he doesn’t play, he’ll hurt his value in the offseason if he’s not traded and becomes a free agent. If he does leave as a free agent, the Bills would likely receive the highest compensation draft pick, a third rounder. That should be a baseline in negotiations: nothing less than a 2nd rounder. Anything else doesn’t make a deal worth making.
As for Byrd, I think his only course of action right now is to shut up, play ball and let the chips fall as they may. I can never understand how agents can willingly make their clients look like malcontents while they are looking for the biggest payday in their lives. Byrd was being treated for the plantar faciitis last year so the condition isn’t a surprise, although it may have been to teams who brought him in on free agent visits if he had hit the market.
I’m not sure how a guy can expect to become the highest-paid safety in the league when teams would know that he might have to miss time in the first season. It was almost as if the franchise tag was beneficial to him at this point. He has to get in the lineup to prove that he is worth a big salary and potentially a high draft pick. My advice to him is to shut his agent up, get on the field, play hard and let the chips fall where they may.