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Report: Bills unlikely to tag Byrd or sign him before free agency


Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said that every option was on the table in regard to safety Jairus Byrd as he approaches free agency, but it appears that the Bills have eliminated one of those options just before the deadline to use the franchise tag.

Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 reports that the Bills are unlikely to use the tag on Byrd for the second straight season. And despite making what Buscaglia reports was a “substantial” offer for a contract that would keep Byrd off the open market, it also looks unlikely that the Bills will be able to sign Byrd before free agency opens on March 11.

Among the options the Bills reportedly considered was tagging Byrd with the intention of trading him, but the possibility that they would face another protracted holdout from Byrd if they couldn’t find a taker in a trade helped quash that notion. Byrd would make $8.3 million if tagged after being tagged last year.

The Browns, now coached by former Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, reportedly have interest in Byrd. They’ll surely have company if Byrd is indeed free to fly away from Buffalo when free agency gets underway.