Bills safety Jairus Byrd has made a name for himself as a Pro Bowl defender, but you probably won't see him as Buffalo starts training camp. Byrd will be absent until he agrees to a new deal with the Bills, according to the Buffalo News.
The team applied the franchise tag to Byrd in order to make sure that he didn't leave in free agency, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline. Also, Byrd is unsatisfied with the franchise tag's one-year contract at $6.92 million.
Byrd was drafted in the second round in 2009 and immediately made his mark on the league, intercepting nine passes as a rookie and being named to the Pro Bowl. He again made the Pro Bowl in 2012 and has 18 career interceptions.
It would have been a tough blow for the Bills to see another high draft pick leave or become an NFL bust. Earlier in the offseason, starting guard Andy Levitre signed a free agent deal with the Titans. The Bills' top pick in 2009 was defensive end Aaron Maybin, one of the more notable failures of the decade. Seven of their 10 draft picks in 2008 are no longer in the NFL. Marshawn Lynch really saw his career take off after he was traded to the Seahawks. The same with Donte Whitner after he signed with the 49ers.
Losing Byrd would be another serious blow to a long history of not getting significant long-term value in the draft for the Bills. The franchise tag would only guarantee Byrd stays for another year, and that's only if he signs it. So far, it does not look like he is willing to do that.