According to Rapoport, Byrd rejected an offer from the Bills that would've made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL for a portion of the deal. Negotiations have been amicable between the sides, but an agreement has been elusive. The Bills will continue attempts to get a contract done if nothing is in place by Monday's deadline to tag players.
The Bills initially believed there would be a trade market if they tagged Byrd and shopped his services, but the team has changed its stance in the past week. It's now believed to be unlikely a team would be willing to trade for Byrd, then sign him to a substantial long-term deal.
The Bills would be pained to lose one of their best players for a compensation pick, but it might end up being their most sensible option.
"We have negotiated with representation for Jairus Byrd for more than a year, but have yet to reach an agreement on a contract extension," Whaley said. "We remain open to getting a deal done with Jairus, but we have chosen not to use the franchise tag on any of our impending unrestricted free agents."