According to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills will use their franchise tag on star safety Jairus Byrd. The move was expected, but seen as a smart move by Buffalo.
Byrd and Buffalo had been in talks about a long term extension and very well may still come to terms regarding one, but putting the tag on him ensures that he will be a Bill for at least the next season.
Byrd has played for the Bills since they took him in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft and started all 16 games last season. He had five interceptions and four fumble recoveries. He is a 2 time pro bowler and 2 time all pro (2009 and 2012), led the AFC in interceptions in those same years, and was a co-leader in interceptions in the league in 2009.
With 18 career interceptions and 10 forced fumbles thus far, Byrd is an integral part of a growing and improving Bills defense and was one of their keys to this offseason along with OG Andy Levitre. With Byrd locked up for the year, the focus can shift to Levitre and possibly picking up a few big name free agents.
If he ends up signing the one-year tender offer, he will play for a base salary of $6.9 Million.