Bills hopeful for long-term extension with Jairus Byrd

Rick Stewart

Buffalo is rebuilding but could take a step toward becoming competitive again by keeping Byrd.

The Buffalo Bills and safety Jairus Byrd both want to get a long-term contract extension done, now it's just a matter of coming to an agreement, according to Yahoo.

Byrd is currently under the franchise tag and hasn't shown up to voluntary activities yet this season. Byrd has yet to sign his franchise tender which means he's allowed to negotiate with any team he wants to.

General manager Buddy Nix wants Byrd back, but isn't pressing, per Yahoo:

''There's been some contact and we're making an effort to try to get a long-term deal done with Jairus,'' Nix said. ''But you know - and I don't mean this in a bad way - I haven't given it much thought. I don't mean that we're not interested, because we certainly need him and eventually he'll probably be here. But there's nothing we can do except try to get a contract done. If it doesn't work, then the ball's in his court. He comes when basically he gets ready.''

Should Byrd come to terms with another team, the team would have to give up two first-round picks to Buffalo, making that scenario highly unlikely. The Bills also have the right to match any offer.

The ffith-year safety is one of the best players on the Bills and certainly is of major importance to new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who is trying to put together some early ideas of his personnel.

Last year, Byrd put together another excellent season with 76 tackles and five interceptions, ranking fifth and first on the team respectively. With George Wilson now having moved on in free agency to the Tennessee Titans, Byrd becomes the senior leader of the safeties and the de facto quarterback of the secondary.

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