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Bills place franchise tag on Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd

By Tim Graham

Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd will not hit free agency.

The Buffalo Bills have announced they've placed the franchise tag on their star defender.

A franchise tag means the Bills have extended a one-year qualifying offer to Byrd for a guaranteed $6.916 million salary, the average of the five highest-paid players at his position.

The tag buys both sides time to hammer out a long-term contract, which the Bills would prefer. But Byrd could sign the one-year deal if he chooses and possibly become a free agent again next year.

Byrd was fourth on the team with 76 tackles, including five for losses. He led the Bills with five interceptions and four forced fumbles. He tied for the team lead with two fumble recoveries.

Teams have until 4 p.m. Monday to apply a franchise or transition tag on any one player about to become a free agent.


2013 free agency | Jairus Byrd
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |