Making the Pro Bowl two out of his first four years, there's little doubt that free safety Jairus Byrd is one of the premiere talents on the Buffalo Bills roster. Much to the dismay of most fans, however, it appears as though the contract process will be a lengthy one that will likely extend in to next off-season, barring any sort of sign and trade scenarios. In early March the Bills elected to designate Byrd as the franchise player, which commits a fully guaranteed $6.916 million if he were to sign. The problem though is the franchise tag sets a deadline for when a long-term contract can be agreed upon between the player and club, and it just so happens that the deadline is Monday, July 15. Talking with some people around the league, it doesn't appear to be all that promising. "I would be completely and utterly shocked if there was a deal done by Monday," said one league source familiar with the team. "There are no talks going on. Someone would have to seriously cave." The league source also brought up how fierce of a negotiator Byrd's agent Eugene Parker is, and summarized that they didn't expect Parker to be the one to budge. "The reason why Byrd is getting tagged is for the simple fact that they just can't get a deal done," said another league source. "From what I understand, they're pushing for numbers in and around what Eric Weddle is at and also keeping the Dashon Goldson deal in to perspective as well." Weddle signed a five-year contract with San Diego in 2011 worth a total of $40 million, with $19 million in guaranteed money. Goldson signed a similar deal, inking a five-year contract with Tampa Bay worth $41.25 million, with $22 million guaranteed. There could be further reason than just the money for the current divide between the two sides. Where the Bills are as a franchise at this point and the position Byrd plays isn't exactly conducive to striking a deal by Monday. "I don't think, in my opinion, Buffalo values that position enough to pay at that level," said the second league source. "Byrd is a good player. He definitely deserves to get paid at the top of the market. I just don't think Buffalo is willing to cave to the demands that Eugene is making. That's really what it's boiling down to, and that's why he didn't get the extension they could have easily afforded to pay."
Bills' Byrd looking for Weddle, Goldson money
WGR 550 Sports Radio | Jul 12