BY NICK ST. DENIS
The Buffalo Bills have been waiting for their best defensive player to report to training camp. Their best defensive player has been waiting until training camp is over.
Safety Jairus Byrd, who was franchise-tagged by the team in March, signed his one-year franchise tender Tuesday night, according to BuffaloBills.com.
The Bills wrap up training camp Wednesday, but Byrd won't report until Thursday, a designated day off.
Byrd has stayed home from team activities since getting tagged. He watched the deadline pass for the Bills to sign him to a long-term deal and decided not to participate in training camp. He wasn't considered a holdout since he technically wasn't under contract.
Now, Byrd won't miss out on any of the $6.9 million he's promised under the tender. He does, however, have a lot of catching up to do in what general manager Doug Whaley referred to earlier in the day as an "intricate" defensive system led by new coordinator Mike Pettine.
“Safeties do make a lot of calls, so he’s missed that," Whaley told BuffaloBills.com. "(He’s missed) a lot of the tempo of practice, so he’s going to have some ground to make up, but he’s a professional."