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With Jairus Byrd, Bills one of eight NFL teams to use franchise tag

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills were one of only eight NFL teams to place a franchise tag on one of its free-agents-to-be.

The deadline for clubs to exercise a franchise tag or transition tag on any single player was 4 p.m. today. No transition tags were used.

All of the franchise tags were on the non-exclusive variety, meaning other teams are allowed to sign these players to offer sheets. The original club has the right to match the offer sheet or decline and receive two first-round draft choices as compensation.

Franchised players are guaranteed a one-year contract at an average salary of the five highest-paid players at his position or (in the case of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer) a 20 percent raise, whichever is greater.

Franchise players and teams still can negotiate a multiyear contract. The franchise tag essentially is a device that helps the team retain a star player's rights.

  • • Buffalo Bills: Jairus Byrd, safety ($6.916 million)
  • • Chicago Bears: Henry Melton, defensive tackle ($8.45 million)
  • • Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Johnson, defensive end ($11.175 million)
  • • Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Spencer, linebacker ($10.56 million)
  • • Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady, tackle ($9.828 million)
  • • Indianapolis Colts: Pat McAfee, punter ($2.977 million)
  • • Kansas City Chiefs: Branden Albert, tackle ($9.828 million)
  • • Miami Dolphins: Randy Starks, defensive tackle ($8.45 million)

The signing period for franchised players is March 12 through Nov. 12.

If unsigned after that, then the player becomes ineligible to play for the remainder of the season.


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 |