Aug 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Ravens defeated the Saints 22-13. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints 2014 Player Ranks: No. 5, Jairus Byrd

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We’re just five days away from firing up the barbecue grill, buying copious amounts of flavored beverages, and performing our ‘only weird if it doesn’t work’ rituals for Sunday’s affair with the Falcons. We’re now in the Top 5 portion of our two-week series that focuses on my Top 15 players heading into the 2014 Saints season. Today’s selection: Jairus Byrd

Birthday: 10/7/1986 (27 years old)
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 203 pounds
Twitter: @jairusbyrd
College: Oregon
NFL Experience: 6th Season
Position: Free Safety
Number: 31

2013 Highlights & Notes

  • Played in 11 games for the Buffalo Bills
  • 48 total tackles (37 solo, 11 assisted), sack, 4 interceptions, 6 pass defenses, forced fumble
  • Signed a 6-year, $54 million contract with the Saints (3/11)
  • Pro Bowl selection (Third overall)
  • Associated Press second-team All-Pro

Overview

If you would have told me in March that the New Orleans Saints would land the league’s top free agent, I would have simply laughed at you. No one, except Jedi Master Mickey Loomis, would have saw this move happen. The Saints instantly boosted their secondary with the addition of Jairus Byrd, who had a great tenure with the Buffalo Bills. Byrd’s the word.

2014 Outlook

If you’re going to throw on New Orleans this season, you have to worry about where Jairus Byrd is going to be. Byrd’s ‘ball-hawk’ abilities is perhaps the most anticipated part of his addition, which is what the Saints need – turnovers. Quite simply, I believe he completes the New Orleans Saints defense. On the defensive side of the ball, he’s arguably the player we’re most eager to see play. Byrd underwent offseason surgery on his back, but the Saints cautiously eased him back into things, and Byrd’s 100% as a result of it. Look for Byrd to be the source of several forced turnovers this season.

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