Dec 1, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) tackles Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Darius Johnson (13) during the second half at the Rogers Center. Falcons beat the Bills 34 to 31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
While the jury is still out on whether the Kansas City Chiefs could sign Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd or should even go after him is still out, it looks like they’ll at least get the opportunity to throw their hat into the ring.
While the Bills made it known at one point that their intention was to apply the franchise tag to Byrd rather than let him leave — this would be the second year in a row — it now seems that their phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook with potential trade offers. Now, it appears, they’re prepared to let Byrd walk according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.
The issue with Byrd and the Bills is not a new one. The prolific defensive back hasn’t hid the fact that he wants to get paid and play for a winning team. The team failed to reach a deal with him last season and was forced to use the tag, which isn’t unheard of. However, double tagging a player is a bit more rare. Taking a note from last year’s negotiations, it would appear the Bills made Byrd a lucrative offer, but he declined.
Free safety is arguably the biggest position of need for the Chiefs heading into the 2014 season. While they could use pass rushing help, a bigger, faster receiving corps and linemen to protect quarterback Alex Smith, a large part of the defensive collapse last season can be pinpointed to poor back end play. If the Bills offered Byrd a contract like Rapoport says, that would have made him a higher paid player than Chiefs safety Eric Berry who is currently the highest paid player at his position in the NFL.
As Rapoport also said in a later tweet, if the Bills don’t reach a deal with Byrd before tomorrow — which is the deadline to apply the franchise tag to a player — they can still potentially reach a deal before the free agency period begins on March 11. After that, it’s free game.
What do you think, Addicts? With these new developments, should the Chiefs go after Byrd? Do you salivate thinking about he and Berry in the same backfield? Sound off below.