The Bills and Jairus Byrd could not reach a deal (USA Today Sports Images)
The eight NFL teams who used the franchise tag this offseason had until 4 p.m. ET on Monday to sign their players to multi-year contracts. The Denver Broncos got left tackle Ryan Clady under contract, agreeing to terms on a five-year, $52.5 million contract on Sunday, but he would be the only franchised player to get a new deal as the seven other teams failed to reach agreements with their players by Monday's deadline.
“We worked very hard to come to a long-term agreement with Jairus, but unfortunately were unable to reach one before today’s deadline," Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley said of the inability to sign franchised safety Jairus Byrd. "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."
Byrd is scheduled to earn $6.916 million in guaranteed base salary, but has yet to sign his one-year tender and might not do so until well into training camp and the preseason. While Byrd cannot sign a multi-year contract, it is possible that his agent, Eugene Parker, could negotiate a clause in the franchise tender that would prohibit the Bills from using the franchise or transition tag on the two-time Pro Bowl safety next offseason.
The following players will play out the season on the franchise tag, which have already been signed:
Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton - $8.45 million
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson - $11.175 million
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer - $10.6272 million (120 percent his 2012 tender)
Indianapolis Colts punter/kickoff specialist Pat McAfee - $2.977 million
Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert - $9.828 million
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks - $8.45 million
Johnson's agent, Rick Smith of Priority Sports, addressed his client's status, while providing some advice to other agents of franchised players.
"Always bet with your player and not against him. @MJ9TRE. Look for Michael Johnson @Bengals to have a big year," Smith wrote on Twitter.
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