Jairus Byrd came aboard with the Buffalo Bills as the second-round draft pick in 2009. Playing free safety, he ended up with 9 interceptions and a Pro Bowl nod. He was a legend in the making.
He has the history to show he’s a ballhawk.
The situation has clearly changed since then. What does he bring to the team now though?
With regards to this year, his recent delay in signing his franchise tag and subsequent injury raise a lot of questions about his future with the Bills — especially with the prominence of upcoming younger players such as Stephon Gilmore. The foot injury seemed to have come out of nowhere. My understanding from talking to a local physician is that the Plantar Fasciitis injury is not a sudden injury-it develops over time. It leads me to wonder when he started discussing the injury with the Bills medical staff as compared to when it actually flared up. I don’t doubt the validity of it but timing is everything when it comes to contracts and injuries.
On Twitter he gave a very nonchalant attitude but at least acknowledged people’s concerns over the situation — then he proceeded to blow those concerns off. Going back to Willis McGahee, these kinds of attitudes tend to not go over well with Bills’ fans.
The question of his future could be answered within a couple of games or it could be one that rides out the rest of the season. His performance on the field will reflect his potential to go out and get a free-agent contract. If he plays poorly, he could drop the perceived attitude and choose to remain in Buffalo (if management keeps him). If he plays well and resumes his old ballhawking ways and shows he is a team player, he will definitely be up for a lucrative contract whether it is in Buffalo or elsewhere. I personally would like to see him stay and play as well as he did in his rookie year.
The ball really is in his court—the question I pose to Jairus: Are you going to soar with Buffalo or are you going to fly the coop?