Williams thanks Byrd for contributions

December, 30, 2013
[+] EnlargeAaron Williams and Jairus Byrd
Mike Rodak/ESPN.comAaron Williams left fellow safety Jairus Byrd a signed game jersey.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The season is over for the Buffalo Bills, which meant players were back in the locker room Monday morning to clean out their lockers.

Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, did not appear in the locker room in the three hours that reporters were present.

However, fellow safety Aaron Williams left his signed game jersey with what could be interpreted as a farewell message to Byrd.

"To Byrd Man," Williams wrote. "Preciate everything you've done for us. Wish you the best of luck. Ball out for Jesus. Phil 4:6."

Byrd left in the first quarter of Sunday's 34-20 loss to the New England Patriots with an ankle injury. He was not spotted in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium after the game.

During the game, Byrd began tweeting for the first time since September.

It may have been Byrd's final appearance in a Bills uniform. The 2009 second-round pick has played five seasons in Buffalo and has been selected to three Pro Bowls.

Last offseason, the Bills assigned Byrd as their franchise player, which led to a summer-long contract dispute. Byrd did not sign his franchise tender and report to the team until after it broke training camp.

The Bills could opt to franchise tag Byrd again this offseason. However, it would cost the team more than $8 million because his latest franchise tender must be at least 120 percent of his prior year's salary, which was $6.9 million this season.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter



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