BY NICK ST. DENIS
As far as the Buffalo Bills are concerned, safety Jairus Byrd is all but a goner.
The Bills didn't use their franchise tag on Byrd, or anyone, prior to the deadline Monday, and with the team having gotten nowhere with the 27-year-old the past two years in contract talks, he's rapidly headed toward free agency for the first time in his career.
"It'll be fun and exciting," Byrd told ESPN Tuesday morning, via BuffaloBills.com. "It's something new so it's kind of the unknown.
"I'm looking forward to it, but I don't really know what it will be like. Hopefully it'll be a good experience."
Byrd said the "lines of communication are open" with the Bills, but that's more or less smoke-blowing. He won't be seen in a Bills uniform again, unless you include his career highlights.
In comparing with the contracts of other top safeties, Byrd will likely be looking for a five-year deal upwards of $40 million with close to $20 million guaranteed. There is a decent-sized market for him, so he'll certainly get a handful of bidders when March 8 -- the first day pending free agents can talk to other teams -- rolls around.
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