Jairus Byrd wants out of the Buffalo Bills.
The Pro Bowl safety has reportedly pressed the team for a trade, the result of a breakdown in contract talks between Byrd’s agent and the team.
Byrd wants a long-term contract from the club, one that would make him among the top-paid safeties in the NFL. But the Bills have not met Byrd’s demands, placing the franchise tag on him for this season.
Sources now say that Eugene Parker, Byrd’s agent, is trying to orchestrate a trade by the October 29 trade deadline.
The situation could make for a difficult couple of weeks. Jairus Byrd held out through the team’s training camp, reporting close to the deadline for signing his franchise tag offer. But Byrd’s demeanor has been significantly changed from previous years, and it’s obvious to insiders that he is no longer happy with the team.
It’s not known what the Bills would want in return for Byrd, who is considered one of the top safeties in the league. The team has dealt with troublesome players in the past. In 2010, the team traded running back Marshawn Lynch after a string of off-the-field problems. Lynch was sent to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2011 and a fifth-round pick in 2012.
But a Jairus Byrd trade could be a bit more complicated. Byrd is dealing with plantar faciitis, an inflammation on the tissue on the sole of his foot. Byrd’s status for the season opener against the New England Patriots is unknown, and the uncertain nature of plantar faciitis could mean continued uncertainty for the rest of this season.
“He’s working extremely hard to get back, really working hard on the game plan,” said Bills coach Doug Marrone. “I feel very comfortable with his knowledge, and he’s out there doing things with us. It’s just a matter of one day I think he’s going to wake up and say, ‘Hey, I feel great, let’s go.’ ”
Jairus Byrd has not spoken to the media about his trade demand, saying he wants to focus on the upcoming Buffalo Bills season.