Just in time to keep safety Jarius Byrd from entering free agency, the Buffalo Bills used the organization’s franchise tag, making a qualifying offer which guarantees Byrd $6.916 million for one year, BuffaloBills.com reported on March 1.
However, the franchise tag is non-exclusive, which allows other teams to negotiate an offer sheet with Jarius Byrd. The Buffalo Bills have the right to match any offer sheet that Byrd signs. If the Bills choose not to match the offer, the team that signed Byrd must give up two first round draft picks to the Buffalo Bills. An exclusive franchise tag would have prohibited other teams from negotiating with Byrd.
Jarius Byrd has until March 12 to make a decision whether or not to sign the one year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Once Byrd accepts the one year offer, the two sides are free to negotiate a long-term contract at any point during that year.
Jarius Byrd was signed by the Buffalo Bills in 2009 as a second round draft pick from the University of Oregon. Byrd has started 57 or 62 games since signing with the Bills. Byrd’s 2009 rookie campaign was highlighted by tying the league lead with nine interceptions which also set a team rookie/first year player record.
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