By league rule the Bills can't talk long term contract with franchise player Jairus Byrd until after the regular season concludes, but with five games left in the season the safety sounds like he's at least willing to listen to what Buffalo is prepared to offer.
Appearing on the John Murphy Show on Buffalo Bills radio Monday night, Byrd when asked if he's open-minded about re-signing with Buffalo provided an enthusiastic response.
"Of course, absolutely, open minded, absolutely. Definitely," said Byrd. "I'm not going to close my mind on anything. I'm open to whatever might come. I'm leaving that to my agent and those guys. I'm out of it. I'm just going to play the best football I can for the team and try to win games and then that stuff will get handled eventually."
Byrd made it sound as if he's giving Buffalo strong consideration beyond next season.
"I've always said all along I want to be where I'm wanted and if it's here then great," Byrd said. "I am definitely excited just to win games. I've been here for four years so my heart is definitely here and wanting to win here and finish what you start."
Buffalo's very successful defensive scheme may be playing a role in Byrd's feelings about continuing his career with the Bills beyond the 2013 campaign. He said he likes playing alongside fellow safety Aaron Williams and likely senses an enhanced ability to make game-changing plays in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's aggressive scheme.
"We're definitely opportunistic and it helps when you have a front seven getting after them," he said. "We all work in unison the front end and the back end, so when they're doing their thing up front they're creating a lot of opportunities for us on the back end and we appreciate that."
The five-year veteran has only appeared in the team's last six games after a bout with plantar fasciitis kept him out of the first five games of the season, but Byrd has three interceptions in his last two games. Though his production appears to spiking, he admits the new defensive scheme is something he hasn't quite completely grasped.
"I'm getting there. I don't think I'm all the way comfortable yet," Byrd said. "That's a process that's ongoing and we'll see where it leads. My teammates are helping me get to a point where I'm able to do different things on the field and we're all getting familiar with each other because some of the guys weren't with me here last year."
The Bills organization has maintained a consistent stance concerning Byrd's future with the club. General manager Doug Whaley has stated time and again that they intend to resume their efforts to sign the Pro Bowl safety to a long term contract agreement at the close of the regular season.
At this point Byrd appears to have Buffalo among his future considerations.
"I've been here for this long and I just want to continue to build on that, but now I know there's a business side to it and that's for the people upstairs to handle and work out," he said. "While I'm here I'm going to give everything I've got to this team and this organization to try to win games and that's where I'm at."