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.