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.
tagged2013 free agency | Jairus Byrd