The team announced late Tuesday that the free safety has signed his $6.9 million franchise tender. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported that Byrd's tender didn't contain a no-tag provision for 2014, meaning the Bills could franchise him again next year. (This was not a point of contention, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, who cited a person informed of the negotiations.)
The move came on the same day Bills general manager Doug Whaley told the media he didn't have any updates on the Byrd front.
"We hope he gets in here before the season opener," Whaley said, via The Buffalo News, "but only he can tell us on that one."
Hours later, Byrd finally signed his tender, ending an extended standoff between player and team. Buffalo's official website said Byrd is expected to report Thursday, a scheduled off day for the players.
Rapoport later reported that the Bills will receive a roster exemption for Byrd starting on the first cut-down date (Aug. 27) and lasting through the next two games on their schedule. The exemption will be removed upon Byrd's activation.
Byrd reportedly is looking for a contract that would make him the highest-paid safety in football. The Bills would like to keep Byrd in Buffalo, but they believe his value falls somewhere in the top five salaries at the position.
The deadline had long since passed for a player under the franchise tag to sign a multiyear deal. Byrd didn't have much leverage to work from, and it was expected he'd eventually sign his tender and report.
That day has arrived, and now Byrd begins the process of catch-up. He has less than three weeks to get comfortable in new coordinator Mike Pettine's defense.The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.