Believe this: Jairus Byrd is not thrilled about returning to the Buffalo Bills on their terms.

There's no reason to doubt Byrd will enjoy playing football or that he'll bring the competitiveness that sent him to two Pro Bowls in his first four seasons. I'll be surprised if Byrd's first comments to reporters don't include flowery remarks about the Bills.

But multiple sources tell me considerable animosity remains between Byrd and the front office and that the toxicity flows both ways over his franchise-tag saga.

A comment from Bills General Manager Doug Whaley on Wednesday suggested the club preferred to keep Byrd on the sideline for the season opener against the New England Patriots.

"An extra roster spot is always a good thing" Whaley told Associated Press reporter John Wawrow who asked if Byrd could be exempted from the roster for opening day.

Teams can request a two-week roster exemption for unsigned players who return from a prolonged holdout. That player doesn't count against the roster doesn't get paid and cannot play. The exemption usually becomes an issue on the first roster cutdown day which this year would be Aug. 27 after the Bills' third preseason game.