Bills safety Jairus Byrd is at or near the top of most fee agent rankings and after Buffalo decided not to give him the franchise tag, many have been wondering who would pursue him and how much money he would be looking for.
We have a partial answer to the former question and the answer to the second is not particularly surprising.
ESPN.com is reporting that Byrd is seeking an average annual salary of $9 million. That would make him the second-highest paid safety in the game, just behind Eric Berry of the Chiefs. It was widely expected that he would try to become one of the top-paid safeties in the game so this report confirms that.
Among the teams said to be interested in Byrd are the Dolphins and Rams and, according to the Washington Post, the Redskins.
The Redskins certainly do have a need at safety as both of last year’s starters are free agents and the backups who are on the roster have not shown that they are capable of starting. But $9 million per year would be tough for a team with about $22 million in salary cap room and a lot of needs to fill.
It’s possible that with Byrd and with Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, who also is looking for a salary in the $9 to $10 million range, the Redskins are not in the bidding at the current asking price. They may just want to be in the game if the prices should drop. If Byrd doesn’t get what he’s looking for and if he doesn’t his contract could come down to a level where he would represent a good value.
As the process unfolds, don’t take whatever you hear at face value. “Interest” does not mean “pay whatever it takes to get the guy”.
Oh, and most importantly: Believe what you see and not what you hear.