News broke out earlier this evening that current veteran Saints safety, Jairus Byrd is expected to be released the first day of free agency, March 9th.
To some this was a shock, but others saw this event coming. Byrd in his two seasons with New Orleans totaled 135 total tackles, 6 passes defended, 3 interceptions, and 1 sack in 29 games. Fans we’re hoping for some sort of action contract-wise. Many considered a post June 1st cut a possibility. Such a cut would save New Orleans money in regards to dead money. Others envisioned at least a restructuring of his contract due to the lack of production.
Although Byrd was never the saving grace that the team brought him in to be, never the star playmaker that he was in Buffalo, it could be argued that his presence could be noticed in New Orleans. The team will need to replace his production as they start to plan for life without the 30 year-old safety this next season.
Many have figured that the New Orleans Saints planned on continuing with their three-safety look this season.
This move could quite possibly put a damper on that assumption due to the lack of playmakers the Saints have at safety. Currently, beyond current safeties Kenny Vaccaro, sophomore Vonn Bell, Erik Harris, and veteran Roman Harper, the Saints quite honestly don’t have many standout names. Look for New Orleans to possibly fill the hole Byrd once left through free agency, or the 2017 NFL Draft.
Now don’t get me wrong folks. I enjoyed Byrd’s company as much as the next guy. I hoped that he would pan out, unlike the Saints free agent failures in recent past. But at the end of the day, this experiment just ended up turning into a waste of money for the Saints.
As far as what Byrd will command on the free agent market, as an experienced veteran safety, expect moderate interest. Byrd has had his ups and downs as far as production-wise, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him with a fresh new contract pulling a few million dollars. There are a few needy teams this year that have secondary issues that I would absolutely see Byrd fit in with.
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