Bills, Byrd can’t reach long-term deal at deadline

Jairus Byrd is a two-time Pro Bowler.(AP/David Duprey)
July 15, 2013, 5:13 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills failed to reach a long-term deal with free-agent safety Jairus Byrd, and it’s unclear whether he’ll sign his one-year franchise tag offer from the team.

Byrd was given the “franchise” label in March, and the two sides faced a Monday deadline to work out a long-term deal. He is the only remaining NFL player who has not signed his franchise tender and can only play under a one-year contract as a result of missing the deadline.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley, in his first year, issued a statement after the deadline.

“We worked very hard to come to a long-term agreement with Jairus, but unfortunately, were unable to reach one before today’s deadline,” Whaley said. “Our attention will now be focused on a one-year agreement with him and on training camp with our continued efforts to prepare our team for the upcoming season.”

Byrd very well could hold out in training camp and sign for 2013 closer to the season.

Byrd has played in 62 games since the Bills selected him in the 2009 second round, recording 18 interceptions and forcing 10 fumbles while defending 27 passes. The two-time Pro Bowler tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions in 2009 as a rookie.

A person familiar with the details of the negotiations said there were no talks Monday. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of contract discussions.

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