Breer: Playing the franchise tag
How did the franchise tag turn into a mechanism for saving money on second-tier players? Albert Breer takes a closer look. More ...
NFL.com's Albert Breer reported this week that nearly a month had passed since the sides last spoke, as Byrd reportedly seeks to become the highest-paid safety in football.
On Saturday, Bills general manager Doug Whaley told reporters that he's reached out to the fifth-year veteran.
"We're not going to do anything in the public or in the media," Whaley said, via WGR-AM. "Just know that we have been in contact and lines of communication are open."
That's a decidedly vague response from Whaley, who later told reporters: "I know it's a story that you guys are going to have to cover. We respect him as a player and as a human being. Hopefully he comes in, and when he does, we will welcome him with open arms. However, at this time, he is exercising his right, and we respect that."
While Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady wound up the only franchised player to reach a long-term contract agreement, Byrd became the only tagged player who refused to sign his tender, worth $6.9 million. With the deadline passed and training camp starting Sunday, the Bills aren't likely to cave in to the safety's demands, especially since the sides now can only reach a one-year deal.
Byrd wants top-player money, but Breer reported the Bills only were willing to pay in the area of the fourth or fifth best at his position. This could wage on for a while, but our guess is Byrd will lower his demands and suit up before Week 1.