By Jay Skurski
Bills safety Jairus Byrd's name has been a popular one floated in trade rumors seemingly from the time he reported to the team over the summer.
With the trade deadline in the NFL arriving at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Byrd was asked today whether he had an expectation of what might happen.
"No, not really. I haven't really given it too much thought," he said. "I mean, I'm focused on winning games here. If something happens, it happens, but right now my focus is with my teammates here and just trying to win games."
Byrd is coming off his most extensive playing time of the season in Sunday's 35-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He was in on 90 percent of the defensive snaps (63 of 70), registering three tackles and one pass defensed.
Byrd said today he continues to feel stronger after missing the first five games of the season because of plantar fasciitis in both feet.
"Each game I feel better and better. You know, this game I got a lot more plays and stuff like that," he said. "Each game I'm feeling stronger and stronger just getting back into the swing of things."
Byrd says he likes the schemed implemented by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
"I think it's good. I really think the scheme works. Obviously it's been proven before from where he's at, his track record," he said."It's not predictable, which I've said before. It keeps people guessing and stuff like that. So I like it."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier this month that the Bills were open to trading Byrd, who's playing on a one-year contract worth $6.916 million as the team's designated franchise player. The team has neither confirmed nor denied that report, with President Russ Brandon continually repeating that they are not actively shopping Byrd, but would listen if another team called.
Because he's under the franchise tag, the Bills or any team that were to trade for Byrd would be prevented from offering him a contract extension until after the season.
The Bills do have the option of placing the franchise tag on Byrd again after the season should they choose, but it would come at a price of $8.29 million. That seems unlikely. So if the team felt they would be unable to re-sign Byrd and that he would leave as an unrestricted free agent, a trade could make sense.
However, Buffalo could let Byrd walk, and that could factor into whether they are awarded a compensatory draft selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Under NFL rules for compensatory picks, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.
For example, the Bills lost guards Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart in free agency following the 2012 season, and signed linebacker Manny Lawson and defensive tackle Alan Branch. Players who were released from their previous team and signed elsewhere -- like former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in Tennessee -- do not factor into the formula.
taggedAlan Branch | Andy Levitre | Chad Rinehart | Jairus Byrd | Manny Lawson | Mike Pettine | Russ Brandon