Redskins fans who have been eyeing the Bills’ Jairus Byrd as the solution to the Redskins long-standing issues at the safety position will have to come up with a new favorite free agent.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that if the Bills can’t come to a long-term contract agreement with Byrd they will use the franchise tag to either keep him for the season or to be able to get some compensation for him in a trade.
The Bills “won’t let him get away for nothing” Rapoport said via Twitter.
Financial realities have always made Byrd a long shot to end up in Washington anyway. Although the Redskins have around $30 million in salary cap space they would have a difficult time signing a premium free agent like Byrd, who is likely to command around $8 million per year in free agency, and meeting their other needs.
If the Bills to decide to tag him that would mean a draft pick would have to be added to the total cost of acquiring Byrd. Considering that the Redskins don’t have a first-round pick and the above-mentioned myriad of needs, that makes it a deal breaker for the Redskins.
Look for Byrd to either stay in Buffalo or to join his former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Cleveland. The Browns hired Pettine to be their head coach and they have well over $40 million in cap room and three draft picks in the top 35 selections, making them much better positioned to land Byrd than the Redskins are.