The Buffalo Bills have announced that they will not use their franchise tag on Jairus Byrd and are likely to part ways with him. This means that it’s time for the New York Jets to sweep in and sign Byrd once free agency kicks off Mar. 11.
New York has not had great safety play from both the free safety and strong safety the first two years of the Rex Ryan era when Jim Leonhard headed the secondary. An experiment with LaRon Landry worked, but New York was unable to keep him for more than a year. An experiment with Yermiah Bell didn’t really work out. Bell was often exposed and played slower than almost everybody else on the field. This past year, Antonio Allen was the bright spot out of the bunch, displaying that he can become a solid safety in the league. Ed Reed did a nice job stepping in in a veteran role, but it’s unsure whether they will bring him back or not.
This is a great opportunity for New York to go for Byrd, a highly respected safety in the league in the prime of his career. While a majority of the cap space should be devoted to improving the offense, the secondary and linebacker positions are also in need of some tweaking.
Byrd could bring a certain swagger to the New York secondary that has been lost the past couple of years. With hopefully a new and improved Dee Milliner coming back strong in his second season and the additions of a few other players like Byrd, this New York defense could be scary all around.