By Tim Graham
PITTSFORD -- Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley indicated today they're no closer to signing safety Jairus Byrd.
"Unfortunately, nothing new to report," Whaley said with a sigh after the Bills held a walkthrough at St. John Fisher College.
There's a widespread belief Byrd will report to the Bills in time for opening day, when players start to get paid.
"We hope he gets in here before the season opener," Whaley said, "but only he can tell us on that one."
Byrd remains estranged from the Bills after they used their franchise tag on him. He has declined to sign the offer, and the sides failed to meet a July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multiyear contracts.
Byrd can sign only a one-year contract, but he can negotiate a clause that would prevent the Bills from using the franchise tag on him again next year. He must report to the Bills by Nov. 12 to be given credit for a season of NFL experience toward free agency and other benefits.
"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 missing 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."
Whaley declined to answer whether the Bills were supplying Byrd with a playbook and practice film.
"We'll keep that between us," Whaley said.
taggedDoug Whaley | Jairus Byrd | Mike Pettine