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
By now, a big chunk of the sports world has heard the news about Jairus Byrd. The New Orleans Saints‘ safety was placed on the season ending injured reserve with a torn meniscus, according to Coach Sean Payton.
Byrd was signed by the Black and Gold this offseason via the Buffalo Bills for a 6-year, $54 million contract. When the word hit the streets of the Crescent City, it was game over for any challenger who stood in the way of the Saints. However, the team got off to a slow start, and just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did, making the Big Easy not seem so easy at the moment.
It’s a giant blow to a defense that is already struggling, but luckily New Orleans had the bright idea of matching the Atlanta Falcons offer to free agent safety Rafael Bush, who became quite popular in NOLA after showing off his skills last year, especially during the playoffs.
The hard-hitting, versatile safety was originally signed by the Dirty Birds as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina State following the 2010 NFL Draft. He played with the Denver Broncos the next season and then signed with the Saints in 2012.
Bush was thought to be the original plan after Malcolm Jenkins was released, but Byrd stepped onto the scene almost immediately following the cut. Look, it’s hard news to swallow, but keeping hope in a city that is built around faith will be needed to support the football team.
Rafael Bush is an excellent, underrated athlete who can really add a spark to the defense. The same was thought about Byrd, but the team must move on and focus on the present and future. Again it’s tough, but New Orleans is resilient and knows how to overcome the worst. I still believe, Who Dat Nation. Do you?