Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd signed his one-year franchise tender with the Buffalo Bills late Tuesday night.

Byrd 26 was designated the team’s franchise player March 1. The two sides however could not agree on a long-term contract by the July 15 deadline. That meant once that deadline passed Byrd could only sign for one year. The franchise tag for safeties calls for a guaranteed salary of $6.916 million.

The agreement came roughly nine hours after General Manager Doug Whaley told reporters in the afternoon there was “unfortunately nothing new to report.”

“We hope he gets in here before the season opener” Whaley said “but only he can tell us that one.”

By the conclusion of the team’s final night practice of training camp at St. John Fisher College Whaley had his answer – and the Bills had a surprise.

A source close to the situation told The Buffalo News there had been no substantive contract talks recently and Byrd unexpectedly signed his tender. As an unsigned player Byrd was not subject to fines for missing training camp practices.

Byrd and his agent Eugene Parker could have tried to sign a deal with another team but that team would have had to give the Bills two-first round draft picks as compensation.

The Bills and Byrd did not negotiate a “no-tag” provision for 2014 meaning the Bills could use the franchise tag on him again next year but to do so it would cost them nearly $8.3 million as the franchise player rules dictate that Byrd receive a 20 percent raise over his 2013 salary.

Byrd had until Nov. 12 to report to be given credit for a season of NFL experience toward free agency. Had he held out during the regular season Byrd would have started to miss checks. Players are paid over the 17 weeks of the NFL season.

An overlooked and likely reason for Byrd to sign Tuesday is the decision guarantees he will be paid for every game in the regular season.

After final roster cuts teams are allowed to request a two-week roster exemption for players returning from a contract standoff.

Players can’t play and do not get paid if they don’t count against the roster.

Therefore had Byrd reported right before the regular season began and the NFL had granted the Bills’ roster exemption then Byrd would’ve missed paychecks.

By signing his deal Tuesday all of that becomes moot.

The challenge for him now will be to learn new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s system.

“A lot of it’s just installation and the mental part of it” Whaley said earlier Tuesday. “It’s a new system. It’s an intricate system and safeties do make a lot of calls. So he’s missing that and a lot of just the tempo of practice.

“So he’s going to have some ground to make up but he’s a professional. I know he’ll come in here ready to work and try to contribute as soon as possible.”