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Long term deal deadline for Byrd passes


After designating Bills safety Jairus Byrd their franchise player with the tender in March, the two sides had until 4 p.m. Monday to negotiate a long term contract agreement. That deadline however, came and went without a multi-year pact completed.

"We worked very hard to come to a long-term agreement with Jairus, but unfortunately were unable to reach one before today's deadline," said Bills GM Doug Whaley in a statement issued after the 4 p.m. deadline passed. "Our attention will now be focused on a one-year agreement with him and on training camp with our continued efforts to prepare our team for the upcoming season."

By league rule the Bills will not be able to complete a contract extension with Byrd now until the end of the regular season at the earliest.

Byrd now has only one option as far as playing for the Bills for the 2013 season is concerned, and that's to sign his one-year franchise tender. That would guarantee his salary at $6.9 million for the season.

When and if he chooses to make that decision is something that he and his agent only know at this point.

If he elects not to sign the franchise tender prior to training camp Byrd would not be considered a holdout and could not be fined by the Bills. That's because until he signs the tender he is not under contract and is technically a free agent.

Signing and trading Byrd is an option, but Byrd would have to sign his one-year tender with the Bills before a trade could be orchestrated. At that point in time the Pro Bowl safety could be traded to another club for agreed upon compensation.

The compensation does not necessarily have to be a pair of first-round draft choices as specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement for a franchise player, provided the two clubs involved agree to less than that.

Denver OT Ryan Clady is the only one of eight NFL players franchised to sign a long-term deal with his respective club.

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