According to reports, the Bills are planning on negotiating with safety Jairus Byrd this week at the combine. If talks go south, Buffalo has one real option. They must place the franchise tag on Byrd.
This is a team that has already released many veterans on the defensive unit, including fellow starting safety George Wilson. Byrd has turned into one of this team’s best leaders, and there need to be some of those on a transitioning defense next season. If Byrd is let go, there is a huge, massive, gaping (you get the severity?) whole at safety. For a team that already wasn’t great against the pass, that would not be a good move.
The rest of the Bills secondary is very young, including Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Williams at cornerback as Da’Norris Searcy and Ron Brooks at safety. Gilmore may have shown promise last season, but you don’t want to leave a second year player to make up for other players mishaps.
Most importantly though, Byrd is simply one of the best players on the team right now. You just can’t let that sort of talent walk away, especially if you think you’re as close as the Bills claim to think they are. This team has let talent walk away before, but they just can’t afford to right now. I get you Bills, use the tag.