- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Buffalo Bills released one starting safety earlier this week. Can they afford to lose a second starting safety to free agency?
Buffalo lost a veteran and valuable leader in George Wilson. This makes it that much more important that the Bills re-sign Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd, whose value just went up. Byrd was due to cash in before Wilson’s release, but the prospect of Buffalo losing both starting safeties in one offseason probably scares the front office.
Byrd is widely viewed as the No. 2 safety on the free-agent market behind Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed. Byrd is Buffalo’s top offseason priority and won’t come cheap. If both sides cannot agree on an extension, the Bills most likely will use the one-year franchise tag.
I would be shocked if Buffalo lets Byrd fly away this offseason. But the urgency for the Bills to keep at least one of their starting safeties just went up.