By Mark Gaughan
PITTSFORD -- The question of whether the Buffalo Bills have some good leverage in talks with safety Jairus Byrd going forward is a matter of perspective.
Byrd signed his one-year franchise tender offer of $6.9 million. The Bills can't work on signing him to a new deal until after the season. They could put a franchise tag on him again next season, but it would cost them $8.29 million.
That total still is good value for the Bills if one considers Byrd worthy of being paid like the top safety in the NFL. Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu holds the top average safety salary of $9.1 million. Kansas City's Eric Berry is second at $8.3 million, and Tampa's Dashon Goldson is third at $8.25 million.
However, it's not good value if one doesn't consider Byrd worthy of being paid like the top safety in the league. The fact is the Bills haven't been able to reach a deal with Byrd.
So it's reasonable to assume they do not consider him worthy of being the top-paid safety. If they did, their negotiations would have resulted in a long-term deal by July. (This is presuming Byrd would have accepted an offer to be the highest-paid safety, a presumption we're willing to make.)
Maybe the Bills would view an $8.29 million price tag as unpalatable. Whether they do or not, it would be uncomfortable for the team to go through a second offseason with no deal for Byrd and another full-camp holdout.