Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd will hit the free agent market this offseason, barring any unforeseen changes in his desire to remain with the Bills organization. It was reported yesterday that the Bills would likely lose Byrd this offseason, as they offered him a lucrative deal but were turned down. The 27-year-old is dead-set on hitting the free agent market, as he believes he is the best safety in the game and would like to be paid that much. Byrd is one of the best playmakers at the free safety position, and the argument can be made that Earl Thomas is the only better coverage free safety (I would argue that Devin McCourty is on Byrd’s level, but that’s not a popular opinion among most people).
Anyway, Byrd is fully expected to walk on the 11th of March, and there’s not much the Bills can do about it. League sources tell WGR 550′s Joe Buscaglia that the Bills will not tag their star safety today, and this news shouldn’t come as a surprise. The deadline to tag players is 4:00 p.m. ET today, and it would have been a shock for the Bills to tag Byrd after tagging him last offseason and going through a huge saga last year before he ultimately turned in another solid season. The Bills simply can’t afford to tag him again and go through the same fiasco, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to negotiate anything either.
Teams like the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already been linked to the star FS, and it will be interesting to see how much he fetches on the open market when there will likely be many teams clamoring for his services.