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Jairus Byrd, Bills contract talks reportedly 'pleasant'


Jairus Byrd might not be close to signing the long-term contract he wants from the Buffalo Bills, but compared to last season's contentious standoff, things appear to be moving along.

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The Buffalo News' Tim Graham reported Thursday night that two league sources told him preliminary talks on a new deal have been "pleasant so far."

Last offseason's contentious contract negotiations led to a disgruntled Byrd holding out after receiving the franchise tag. The sides rarely spoke during the elongated process, and Byrd never received the long-term agreement he desired -- one that would have made him the NFL's highest paid safety.

It's a big positive to hear that talks of a contract extension are going well. Around The League's fourth-rated free agent on our Free Agency 101 list, Byrd's playmaking is key to the success of the Bills' defense.

Last season, Byrd's franchise tender didn't include a no-tag provision in 2014, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported at the time, which was a huge contention in the testy negotiations.

Discussions could sour if the Bills are forced to franchise Bryd once again. The Bills have until Monday to use the tag on Bryd, which would land at roughly $8.3 milliony.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week that the Bills will use the tag on Byrd if they don't get a deal done by Monday. With the tag looking more likely to happen, the next deadline to hammer out a deal would be July 15 -- the deadline for tagged players to sign multiyear extensions.

At least this time around, the sides are talking more amicably.

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" discusses the top 101 free agents and forecasts the offseasons of the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.


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