ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – The Buffalo Bills have chosen not to use the franchise tag to retain safety Jairus Byrd, a decision that allows the three-time Pro Bowl player to become an unrestricted free agent.
The decision was announced by the team shortly before the NFL deadline to apply the tag arrived Monday And it came after the two sides were unable to negotiate a long-term contract.
Though the two sides can still talk, it's unlikely a deal will be reached before the league's free-agency period opens on March 11.
Negotiations reached a standstill last weekend after the Bills made Byrd what they regarded as a lucrative multiyear offer.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org