With the hiring of Mike Pettine as Head Coach does it mean that Cleveland Browns does it mean that Cleveland Browns now have a decisive advantage in the pursuit of the signature of Buffalo Bills Free Safety Jarius Byrd.
Mike Pettine is a man who is a real favourite with the players and really stresses the mental aspect of the game and always has all his players ready come game time. This allowed him to help Jarius Byrd reach his potential as one of the top Free Safeties in the league. Cleveland fans only have to look as the Cavs Andrew Bynum turned out to see how important man management in a players reaching their full potential in modern professional sports where all athletes appear to have a dehabilitating self-entitlement.
Jarius Byrd was a Free Agent last summer and appeared to be getting ready to test the Free Agency waters after he couldn’t reach a long term deal with Bills when Buffalo slapped their franchise tag at the expense of leaving Adam Levietre walk. This means he got the average of the top-5 safeties salary in the league or a 25% raise, whichever is higher. Yet despite having an extra year in which to re-negotiate his contract with the Bills they still appear to be at odds with each other.it looks like it would be hard for the Bills to justify increasing his wage by another 25% particularly considering he missed 5 games this year due to injury. He may also see a future for himself in Buffalo after another underwhelming season in Western New York despite a strong pass rush and an interesting offence with weapons like EJ Manuel, CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson as they struggled to last place in the AFC East.
Although Cleveland has got improving FS Tashaun Gipson already on their roster but Byrd would represent an upgrade. Byrd a three time Probowler has 22 interceptions in his first five seasons. Gipson had a career year last year leading the Browns in interceptions with 5 and sowed some intriguing playmaking ability.
One problem for the Browns might be the money he is looking for. The bar for FS salary was set last year by Dashon Goldson with his 5 year/$40m deal with Tampa. If the Browns feel he is not worth this kind of money they pass on him despite having $50 million in cap space. This figure may be less as it looks like Fas Alex Mack and TJ Ward may be resigned to large deals. They might not feel he is worth it after he missed 5 games last year through injury or they may feel that Gipson is the one they want as with his cheaper salary. Whatever they choose to do it looks like they would have a decided advantage if they did choose to pursue Jarius Byrd in Free Agency.