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Bills still hope to sign Jairus Byrd to long-term contract

The Bills haven't given up on keeping Jairus Byrd in Buffalo long term.

With the free safety mired in a training-camp holdout, Bills president Russ Brandon told The Associated Press on Monday that the team will try again to sign Byrd to a multiyear contract next offseason.

"Obviously, our goal was to have that done by July 15. We didn't meet that goal," Brandon said, citing the NFL's deadline for multiyear deals. "But we'll pull up our boot straps, and as soon as we can start on that again, we will."

That can't happen until after the season, but Brandon called the prospects of a long-term pact "absolutely" realistic. This season, the safety's options are limited: He can sign his one-year, $6.9 million franchise tag or continue his holdout.

The fifth-year pro can't play for another team in 2013 unless the Bills decide to trade him. Byrd could wait to sign his tender in time to play the final six games of the season -- accruing another year toward unrestricted free agency, a la Vincent Jackson in 2010 -- but that's not a road players often travel.

As NFL.com's Albert Breer reported in July, Byrd's only real play at this point is an attempt to secure provisions in his one-year tender, specifically to prevent the Bills from using the franchise tag on him again in 2014.

The two-time Pro Bowl player reportedly wants to be paid top-safety money, but the Bills have shown no interest in doing so. As we've said all along, we expect Byrd to cave in and sign his one-year contract in time for Week 1.

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