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Doug Whaley says 'nothing new to report' on Jairus Byrd contract

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.

The Bills continue to learn new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's system without Byrd.

"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.

tagged

Doug Whaley | Jairus Byrd | Mike Pettine
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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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