Buffalo Bills star free safety Jairus Byrd had a much-publicized hold out in the offseason, as he was upset with having to play under the franchise tag and wanted a new, long-term deal that would make him the highest paid safety in the NFL. Byrd clearly holds his abilities in high regard, and he’s one of the elite safeties in the game. While he isn’t as good as New England Patriots FS Devin McCourty, Byrd is an excellent player in his own right and is the more popular player than McCourty, as Byrd made the Pro Bowl this year and McCourty did not.
With Byrd set to hit free agency as one of the Bills best players, a common point of discussion is whether or not the Bills will choose to re-sign him or simply let him go. He seems too talented to lose without a fight, even though their efforts could very well ultimately end up being futile. The Bills are unwilling to lose Byrd without at least trying to retain him, and this line of thinking was reflected in a comment made by Bills GM Doug Whaley.
According to WGR 550′s Joe Buscaglia, Whaley said, “We’ve had a conversation — myself and Russ — sat and talked to Jairus, and we’re gonna make an offer to the guy and we’re gonna try to keep him. We’re gonna try to the best of abilities because we’re in the business of collecting good players and he’s a good player.”
Despite missing the first five games of the season with plantar fasciitis, Jairus Byrd finished the year with 48 tackles and four picks in another solid campaign. While he wasn’t lights-out like he was last season, Byrd still played very well and is going to be paid handsomely in the offseason. Will the Bills be able to keep him around? That’s the real question.