8 recent New Orleans Saints free agent signings that just didn’t pan out

Leigh Oleszczak
Jairus Byrd, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Jairus Byrd, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Jairus Byrd, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

2. Jairus Byrd

It felt like it was all coming together. Jairus Byrd was supposed to be the missing link in the Saints’ defense but instead… Oof it all went to crap pretty quickly.

Before we dive into Byrd’s brief stint in the Big Easy, let’s recap what his career was like before that era of his career took place.

Byrd was a second-round pick out of Oregon in the 2009 NFL Draft and was one of Buffalo’s best players during his five years there. He was a three-time Pro Bowler, including as a rookie in 2009, and also in 2012 and 2013.

It was a huge deal when the Saints signed Byrd to a six-year deal that was set to be worth $56 million. He was a 28-year-old safety who was playing the best ball of his career at that point. Fans were thrilled about this move.

Unfortunately, Byrd only made it through half of that deal, as injuries constantly kept him off the field. He appeared in just four games in 2014 before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. He wasn’t the same player after the injury though he was at least available for double-digit games in both 2015 and 2016.

The Saints released Byrd midway through his deal and he tried one more stint with the Panthers in 2017 before officially hanging up the cleats for good.

New Orleans swung big on this signing and unfortunately, they struck out in a major way. It happens.

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