DON’T GET ME STARTED woke up with a sour taste in my mouth after hearing that the Bills no longer can negotiate with Jarius Byrd as the 4 p.m. deadline passed Tuesday.

What irritates that sourness is Byrd’s reported negotiating point that he wants to be the highest paid safety in the NFL.  So, $7-8 million a year isn’t enough?  A big signing bonus isn’t enough?  A long term contract with many, many millions guaranteed isn’t enough?

He wants to be the highest paid safety in the NFL.  That’s over $9 million a year. For what? Has Byrd helped the Bills get into the playoffs?  Has Byrd ever been named the NFL’s most valuable player?  Has Byrd ever led the league in interceptions?  Has Byrd been named player of the game when he snuck into the pro bowl?

I can’t recall Bruce Smith; Thurman Thomas; Jim Kelly; Andre Reed and other heroes of the past asking to be the highest paid player in the league at their position.  Oh they re-negotiated but used their wants rather than what other players were making.  And, of course, look what these players did for the Bills on their way to four straight Super Bowls; MVPs; and Hall of Fame recognition.

Yes, Byrd is a good safety.  Buffalo made a wise choice in acquiring him.  He became a fan favorite, performing pretty well.  But should “doing his job” have to result in being the highest paid safety in the league?  We’re talking over $9 million a year on a long term deal.  Now that the deadline has passed, there can be no negotiations until well into the season.

He wants to be the highest paid.  I believe that distinction goes to the Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamula.  Hey Byrd, it’s taken that great player 10 years to become the highest paid – not the 2 or 3 that you’ve been in the league.  And he’s as accomplished as you get:  pro bowl; playoff performer; and Super Bowl.  Are you comparing yourself to him??????

Byrd must play for a “measly 6 million a year” – that is if he signs that franchise player agreement.  The way his ego is going, it’s unlikely that he will report to training camp.  No dough for, I believer, the first 10 weeks of the season if he continues to sit out.  How does that sit with his agent Eugene Parker who won’t be collecting his commission.

I could go on writing a lot…..but everything boils down to E G O.  It’s now apparent that Byrd has a big ego.  It’s also apparent that he doesn’t know the Bills fans as well as he thinks.  He’s not going to get much support from those hard working blue collars making minimum hourly wages while he’s refusing over 6-7 million dollars a year with millions guaranteed where he would have to worry about a thing for the rest of his life..

Face it; the Bills have suffered for over a decade without a playoff berth.  One guy isn’t going to make a difference…’s all about team.  If I was the owner, I would say that I would entertain thoughts of trading him to see if any other team would be willing to make Byrd the highest played safety in the NFL – without ever playing a playoff down in his career.

As for coach Marrone – go for the draft choices and rookies and really give them an education in playing safety.  Even if Byrd does come back, let’s hope that these youngsters perform beyond expectation and earn a starting shot.  As for the GM – scour the transaction wires and see who is a proven safety and watch how quickly he can be obtained for 6 million a year – a sum that Byrd isn’t willing to take, in fact, turning down a more because his ego dictates that “highest paid.”

“Highest paid safety in the NFL?”  Lead the league in interception; forced fumbles; tackles; be voted into the Pro Bowl; lead the Bills into the playoffs….then the Super Bowl, making the plays that got them there and then, maybe, you can utter that you want to be the highest paid safety in the NFL.  Until then…….enjoy your vacation on Don’t Get Me Started.

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