BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski
The Buffalo Bills and star free safety Jairus Byrd failed to negotiate a contract prior to Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term contract extensions. Furthermore, Byrd has yet to sign his one-year, $6.916 million tender. With only one week until training camp, it is becoming expected that Byrd will miss most if not all of training camp.
Since Byrd had the franchise tag placed on him four months ago, it’s unlikely that the Bills had a backup plan for him not being on the field. While he will most likely sign his one-year deal prior to the start of the season, what the team does have to consider is how a prolonged holdout through training camp and the preseason could affect the on-field performance of their star defender.
The holdout has long been a part of NFL culture, affecting some of the league’s most prominent stars from Eric Dickerson in 1985 and 1990 to Jerry Rice in 1992 and Emmitt Smith in 1993. However, for the sake of comparison, I’m going to examine some of the NFL’s most recent and prominent holdouts since 1999.