According to a source familiar with what pending free agent Jairus Byrd requires from the Buffalo Bills to consider re-signing before free agency starts, his agent, Eugene Parker is seeking a deal paying his 27-year old three-time Pro Bowler client at least $45 million over five years, with no less than $20 million fully guaranteed.
Those terms would make Byrd the highest-paid safety in the NFL and from what I hear, there’s no chance of him re-signing prior to free agency for any less.
Tampa Bay signed premier 2013 free agent safety Dashon Goldson last March to a five-year deal worth $41.25 million that included $18 million guaranteed.
Parker unmistakably regards Byrd as more talented, and is looking to blow past the financials of Goldson’s agreement.
Other safeties roughly similar to Byrd’s age and talent level include Eric Weddle, Antrei Rolle and Michael Griffin. Their annual salaries presently stand at $8 million, $7.4 million and $7 million respectively. All signed five year deals.
Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu is actually the game’s current highest-paid safety, at an average of slightly over $9.1 million, but the 32-year old may be forced to take a pay cut from his $8.25 million salary to remain to remain with the Steelers going into the final year of his contract.
Of course, Byrd doesn’t presently control his own destiny when it comes to where he’ll play in 2014. Buffalo reserves the opportunity to place the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive year and if they did he’d earn around $8.3 million for next season.