With the decision solely up to Jairus Byrd on when to sign his franchise tender and report to training camp, the Bills are being patient waiting for their Pro Bowl safety to return. What the current situation has not done is dissuade Buffalo's desire to reach a long-term contract agreement with Byrd.
Appearing on the Howard Simon show Monday morning on the Bills' flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, team President and CEO Russ Brandon emphasized their intent to pursue a multi-year extension at the end of the regular season.
"I can't wait for Jairus to get in here. Obviously he's a great player and a guy we have a lot of respect for," said Brandon. "Once he's here and we get through this year we want to try to continue the discussions and negotiations with (his agent) Eugene (Parker) and get him locked in long term."
By rule the Bills cannot sign Byrd to a long term extension until after the 2013 regular season. Once the July 15th deadline for a long term deal came and went it made the end of the season the next time a multi-year pact could be consummated.
Having seen quality young talent leave before Brandon reiterated the club's plans to keep Byrd in the fold.
"He's part of the core of this team," said Brandon. "He's a guy that was drafted here and developed here and we want to keep that development moving forward. He's a great player and that's something we'd really like to have here."
Brandon indicated that there has been dialogue between Byrd and the organization, but pinning down a day and time when the safety might report to the team was something the Bills CEO could not predict.
"We have open lines of communication with him through Coach Marrone and the players and GM Doug Whaley," said Brandon. "We can't wait for him to get here, but I can't anticipate when he will be here."
When asked about whether there is any bitterness between the two sides Brandon described things as cordial saying both the Bills and the Byrd camp recognize this situation as part of NFL business.
"Jairus is one of the best guys in our locker room. He's a great individual and there's no animosity at all," said Brandon. "Obviously we want the player here and we want him to be a part of the future to give us an opportunity to continue to discuss and negotiate. Once we're able to look at a long term agreement we'll go ahead and keep working on that."