Considering by many to be the best player available during 2014 NFL Free Agency, free safety Jairus Byrd is taking a trip to visit the New Orleans Saints, his first official stop since the market opened on Tuesday afternoon.
After spending his first five NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Byrd appeared eager to get his first taste of free agency. He held out last year while trying to pressure the Bills into giving him a new deal, but nothing came of his efforts. Now that Byrd is free to sign wherever he pleases, the Saints have gotten the first crack at signing the top-tier safety.
If he were to sign with the Saints, Byrd would immediately fill in as the starting free safety. New Orleans released Roman Harper earlier this offseason, and watched Malcolm Jenkins sign with Philadelphia Eagles at the start of free agency. With outstanding instincts, ball skills and tackling ability, Byrd would easily provide an overwhelming upgrade at the position.
The only roadblock at this point is cap space, which the Saints don’t have much of. As of right now, they have under $2 million available. Seeing as Byrd will be looking for a huge contract, they won’t be able to sign him unless they make some significant moves to clear cap space.
Either way, there’s definitely a plethora of intrigue in this scenario. If the Saints managed to sign Byrd, he’d team with 2013 first-rounder Kenny Vaccaro to form one of the most dangerous safety duos in the NFL. The New Orleans secondary would suddenly be one worth taking seriously after struggling for much of the 2013 campaign.
We’ll see what comes of the visit. If the Saints really are serious about signing Byrd, expect to hear about some roster moves soon.