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Buffalo Bills place franchise tag to retain rights to S Jairus Byrd

The Buffalo Bills have retained the rights to safety Jairus Byrd by placing a franchise tag on him before he was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

In making the move Friday, the Bills have essentially offered Byrd a one-year contract worth $6.9 million.

Byrd isn't required to accept the offer, and he's also not prevented from negotiating with other teams. The Bills, however, will have the right to match any offers made to Byrd.

Byrd's agent, Eugene Parker, told The Associated Press it's too early to determine the next step for his client.

A 2009 second-round draft pick out of Oregon, Byrd has 57 starts in 62 career games. He has 18 career interceptions, including five last season. That total tied for most among AFC players.