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Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills fail to reach long-term deal

Franchise player Jairus Byrd did not sign a long-term contract with the Buffalo Bills ahead of Monday's 4:00 p.m. ET deadline, NFL.com's Albert Breer reported. Byrd reportedly has designs on becoming the highest-paid safety in the NFL while the Bills were only willing to pay top four to five money.

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It's easier for the Bills simply to pay the $6.9 million franchise-tag salary while assessing Byrd's fit in Mike Pettine's defense. The contract haggling could linger into training camp, as Byrd is the only tagged player yet to sign his tender.

General manager Doug Whaley released a statement regarding the matter Monday.

"We worked very hard to come to a long-term agreement with Jairus, but unfortunately, were unable to reach one before today's deadline," the statement said. "Our attention will now be focused on a one-year agreement with him and on training camp with our continued efforts to prepare our team for the upcoming season."

Breer also reported Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson will play outthe season on their franchise tenders, as expected. The Bengals at least held talks with Johnson's representatives Monday, whereas the Chiefsnever attempted to find middle ground with Albert.

Breer reported earlier in the day that Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton and Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Anthony Spencerwould not sign long-term contracts. They were joined by Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee and Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks, who will play out the season under their franchise tenders.

Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady ended up being the only franchise-tagged player to reach a long-term agreement.

Monday's deadline provided as much drama as last week's 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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