The Buffalo Bills and Jairus Byrd had a contentious offseason. After the Bills slapped Byrd with the franchise tag they went nowhere in negotiations for a long-term contract. Byrd held out for all of training camp and finally reported the week that the Bills broke camp. He missed the first five games of the season with plantar faciitis in his foot, but since he has returned to the lineup he has been one of the Bills’ best players on defense.
Byrd has 24 tackles, a sack, three interceptions and five passes defensed in only six games played this season. He hasn’t missed a beat since returning from injury. He’s playing like a man possessed and the pot at the end of the rainbow will only keep getting bigger the better he plays. Byrd is showing the Bills and the rest of the league that he’s worth one of the biggest contracts given to a safety in NFL history.
Byrd has always been a productive player. In his first four years he had 18 interceptions and 27 passes defensed. He’s piled up over 300 tackles. He’s not just a great safety in the passing game or the running game; he plays an extremely well-rounded game where he excels at both. He’s a better player at this point than guys like Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu, and you can argue that he is at least as good, if not better, than guys like Eric Weddle and DaShon Goldson who have recently set the market for safeties in free agency.
My advice to the Bills is to pay the man. Pay him like he is the best safety in the league because you could make a real good argument that he is. The Bills have plenty of cap space and Byrd is the only pending free agent that they have that will be a priority. The deal makes too much sense right now not to get done. If Byrd wants to be here make him an offer that will keep him in Buffalo for a long time.
If the Bills want to be viable in the long term then they need to collect good players including keeping the ones that they’ve already got. Byrd is one of their best, and the Bills would be wise to keep him around for a while.