The Buffalo Bills are already lacking defensive play-makers. If they know what’s good for them, they had better not let their best one slip away.
Free safety Jairus Byrd is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012 campaign. Byrd put together an extremely impressive 4th season, posting 76 tackles, four forced fumbles and five interceptions. He has showcased ball-hawking skills throughout his entire career, drawing comparisons to the player who landed in the Pro Bowl over him.
The Baltimore Ravens future hall of famer obviously made it over Byrd, as the whole voting is a popularity contest. However, if you look at the stats, Byrd actually had the better season. But that’s for an entirely different day.
Now that he didn’t make the Pro Bowl, Bills fans everywhere are praying that Sunday wasn’t his final game in a Bills helmet. Byrd was the main reason that this team improved drastically in the secondary, helping his team finish the 2012 campaign with the 10th ranked pass defense. While they do have young guys like Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo would certainly miss their play-making safety. Strong safety and team captain George Wilson realizes how talented his fellow safety is.
“Byrd has been a playmaker for us,” Wilson said. “He’ll continue to be a playmaker for us or wherever free agency takes him, whether it’s here or elsewhere. He’ll continue to make plays . That’s what he’s always done.”
The Bills are expected to endure a rather hectic off-season, especially after firing head coach Chan Gailey on Monday. Buffalo appears to be cleaning house, while continuing to rebuild after missing the playoffs for the past 13 years. With all the chaos at the Ralph, the Bills better not overlook a budding superstar in the secondary.