If the Buffalo Bills and safety Jairus Byrd have started contract negotiations, it’s news to him.
An ESPN.com report Friday said the team and Byrd’s camp – he’s represented by agent Eugene Parker – have opened talks.
“I’ve talked to my agent, but it hasn’t been about that,” Byrd said after practice. “He’ll tell me what’s going on. … We communicate. He just kind of lets me focus. I’ll let him handle that.”
Byrd is in the final season of his rookie contract. He’s second on the team with 64 tackles, leads the Bills with four interceptions, has three forced fumbles and two recoveries.
“If everything works out, I have no problems with Buffalo,” Byrd said. “But I know around this time, it’s about business.”
The Bills could keep Byrd’s services by applying the franchise tag, which would pay him the average of the top five-highest paid players at his position.
That number for safeties in 2012 was $6.2 million.
“It’s exciting,” Byrd said about the possibility of being a free agent for the first time. “Everybody is excited about that possibility, but I’m just trying to finish this season and then go from there.”
If Byrd were to re-sign, he made it clear what he’d be looking for.
“We just have to win. That’s the biggest thing, just winning. ... And I want to be somewhere I’m wanted, too. I want to be wanted here, and if that’s the case, then I have no problems with Buffalo, Coach [Chan] Gailey. Everyone is great here.”
Former Bills Andre Reed and Steve Tasker are among 27 semifinalists for the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot.
Reed has been one of the 15 finalists the past six years, while Tasker has never made it past the semifinal stage. The finalists will be announced in January.
Bills receiver Donald Jones missed practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of a calf injury.
“We keep trying to get it out, but we haven’t been able to do that yet,” Gailey said of tightness in Jones’ calf. “ ... Missing practices like he has, parts of two and then an entire one, it hurts us, but if he can play, he would know what to do. That’s not an issue.”
H-back Dorin Dickerson also missed practice to attend a funeral and will be available Sunday. Defensive ends Mark Anderson (knee) and Chris Kelsay (neck) already have been ruled out.
The Bills list cornerbacks Aaron Williams (knee) and Justin Rogers (foot) as questionable, along with defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (illness) and fullback Corey McIntyre (ankle). Thirteen players are listed as probable.
Jacksonville ruled running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), defensive end Austen Lane (foot) and cornerback Derek Cox (hamstring) out. Receivers Justin Blackmon (groin) and Cecil Shorts (hamstring) returned to practice Friday after missing Thursday and are expected to play, according to Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey.