BY NICK ST. DENIS
When the Bills slapped safety Jairus Byrd with the franchise tag earlier this offseason, they had until 4 p.m. Monday to sign him to a long-term deal. An extension didn't happen, and now they won't be able to make an official agreement with Byrd until the end of the 2013 season. (photo: LostBob, Flickr)
By then, Byrd could have his sights set elsewhere.
“We worked very hard to come to a long-term agreement with Jairus, but unfortunately, were unable to reach one before today’s deadline,” Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement. “Our attention will now be focused on a one-year agreement with him and on Training Camp with our continued efforts to prepare our team for the upcoming season."
Byrd, arguably the team's best defensive player, has yet to sign his $6.9 million tender. He can't play for Buffalo, or any other team, this season if he doesn't sign. When Byrd signs, the Bills have the option of trading him or having a financially-unhappy player leading the secondary. Or he could hold out.
Byrd has tallied 18 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, 308 tackles, 27 passes defensed, two sacks and two defensive touchdowns in his four years as a pro.
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