Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bills look to hash out new deal with Byrd at Combine


The Buffalo Bills have committed to part ways with a handful of veterans, via either a release or a decision to not re-sign them.

Safety Jairus Byrd isn't in that group. (photo: LostBob, Flickr)

Buffalo plans to hold contract talks with Byrd, who is slated to hit free agency in March, during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this week and weekend, according to the Associated Press.

The AP's source said the sides have yet to formally negotiate and that the team hasn't discussed whether it would use the franchise tag on Byrd. The tag, which can be applied to any one player from now to March 4, would cost the Bills around $6 million in 2013 if they used it to retain Byrd for at least a year.

[Related: Bills cut ties with safety Wilson, linebacker Barnett | Bills' 2013 Offseason Primer: Changes aplenty]

When Buffalo released seasoned vet safety George Wilson last week, it became pretty obvious that they intended on keeping Byrd around by any means necessary. That's a good thing, because Byrd is a rising defensive star who Mike Pettine can build the third layer of his defense around.

Once Byrd's situation is settled, the Bills will have to get cracking on Andy Levitre, whose contract is also up in March.

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