Byrd gets franchised; Levitre in limbo
Regarding the Buffalo Bills’ top two free agents, fans can breathe a sigh of relief one almost surely will be back, but they should get used to the possibility of saying goodbye to the other. The Bills on Friday made a commitment to Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd by using their franchise tag on him. Left guard Andy Levitre, meanwhile, said he hasn’t received a contract proposal yet. The free agency period begins March 12. “I’m in limbo right now,” Levitre said from his home in Northern California. “I don’t know what their plan is. “Now that Jairus got his franchise tag, there’s a week and a half for them to work a deal out with me. But I haven’t been offered anything yet. We’re waiting around to see if something will pop up.” The franchise tag means the Bills have extended a one-year qualifying offer to Byrd for a $6.916 million guaranteed salary, the average of the five highest-paid players at his position. Clubs have the choice of designating their franchise tag as “exclusive” or “non-exclusive.” An exclusive franchise tag prevents other teams from negotiating with that player. The Bills used a non-exclusive tag on Byrd. That will let him negotiate with other teams and sign an offer sheet. If he does, then the Bills will have the option to match the offer sheet or decline and receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
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