Dear Mr. Byrd,
You came into this league in 2009 as a second round cornerback. As a rookie, you moved to free safety and tied for the league lead in interceptions. You were named to both the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team. With your first interception you instantly became my favorite player.
After your first season, critics said, “He’s a ballhawk, but he cant tackle.” So what did you do in your second season? You became one of the better tackling safeties in the game. By your third and fourth seasons there were no cracks in your game. You solidified yourself as one of the best safeties in the game. In year four, you again were named to both the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team.
You played on a rookie contract that you honored and played without a single word, distraction or complaint. Last year, after honoring your contract with no complaints or distractions and playing above and beyond your salary, you were franchised. You felt, as anyone else would feel and as your right, that it was time for you to be compensated according to your value. Details about the negotiations are moot at this point because nobody knows the complete truth except you and whomever else was at the negotiation table. So aside from the negotiations during the 2013 off-season, you again played in 2013 without a complaint and at an elite level.
Three times in five seasons you were named to both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro team. I’m not telling you your accolades because I don’t think you know them, I’m telling you your accolades because I need you to know that despite how a lot of fans may feel you owe this team, the city, or these fans absolutely nothing. You were a model player for Buffalo and at the end of the day, the only person that will take care of Jairus Byrd, is Jairus Byrd.
So while I wish my favorite defensive player would play his entire career with my favorite football team, I understand there is always a business/personal side to this game. So Mr. Byrd take care of yourself and the Byrd family. Have a great career wherever you decide to play, and thank you for the great five years that you had here for the Buffalo Bills.
Your #1 Fan,