By Tim Graham
PITTSFORD -- I guess that escalated quickly.
Nine hours after Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said there was "Unfortunately, nothing new to report" on Jairus Byrd's contract situation and the club hoped the two-time Pro Bowl safety would be signed before opening day, the Bills announced they signed Byrd to a one-year contract.
A statement from the Bills said they signed Byrd to his franchise tender. That would be a one-year deal guaranteed at $6.916 million.
The Bills could sign Byrd only to a one-year contract because they failed to reach a multiyear agreement before the July 15 for franchise-tagged players to do so.
Byrd is coming off a fantastic season in which he led the Bills with five interceptions and four forced fumbles. He tied for the team lead with two fumble recoveries.
He finished fourth in tackles with 76, making him the team's top-returning tackler. The first three -- linebacker Nick Barnett, safety George Wilson and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard -- are gone.
Whaley commented earlier today on what Byrd was missing while the Bills continued to learn new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's system.
"A lot of it's just installation and the mental part of it," Whaley said. "It's a new system. It's an intricate system, and safeties do make a lot of calls. So he's missed that and a lot of just the tempo of practice.
"So he's going to have some ground to make up, but he's a professional. I know he'll come in here ready to work and try to contribute as soon as possible."
taggedDoug Whaley | Jairus Byrd