Jairus Byrd signs franchise tender

Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE

Buffalo's defense got a boost on Tuesday when Jairus Byrd inked his tender.

Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd signed his franchise tender on Tuesday and will report to the team after sitting out the offseason.

The team announced the move on Twitter, and it came just a few hours after Bills general manager Doug Whaley said there was nothing new to report and that the team was hopeful Byrd would report before the season opener. According to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com, Byrd is expected to report to the team on Thursday.

Byrd is unlikely to play in Buffalo's preseason game against Washington on Saturday, but he will have more than two weeks to get into football shape and up to speed with the new coaching staff before the regular season starts.

The two sides were unable to reach a long-term deal and Byrd, 26, will instead play the 2013 season on his one-year franchise tender worth $6.916 million. He isn't eligible to sign a long-term deal until after the season.

Byrd could have held out until Nov. 12 and still received credit for a season of NFL experience. By doing so, however, he would have missed several weeks' worth of paychecks. Now that he's signed his tender, Byrd's $6.916 million salary is fully guaranteed.

A fixture in the Bills lineup since being drafted in 2009, Byrd has started 57 games during his four-year career. He's coming off an All-Pro season, the second of his career.

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