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Bills, Jairus Byrd don't meet 4 p.m. deadline for contract

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills and safety Jairus Byrd did not reach terms on a multiyear contract before the 4 p.m. deadline for franchise-tagged players to do so.

That means Byrd can sign only a one-year contract and may not renegotiate that deal until after the 2013 season.

The Bills are supposed to report for training camp July 26. Without a contract, however, Byrd won't be there. He won't be considered a holdout because he's unsigned.

Byrd would start missing paychecks if he didn't come to terms before the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the New England Patriots.

Not even that is a given.

If Byrd wants to play this year and get credited with an accrued season toward next year's free agency and other NFL benefits, then he must sign by 4 p.m. Nov. 12 (the Tuesday after Week 10, as spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement).

Otherwise, he will be ineligible until the 2014 season.


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 |