As the 2014 NFL free agency period is set to kick off on Tuesday, the sweepstakes for Jairus Byrd, our highest-ranked free agent, isn’t narrowing, as some would have you believe. On the contrary, as the time to officially begin signing free agents gets closer, more and more teams are calling about Byrd and the possibility of signing him. If you think your favorite team isn’t on that list, you better double check because it’s still growing.
The most reports indicate the Washington Redskins as the frontrunner for Byrd’s services. The team has over $30 million in cap space, so it can afford to sign a player of Byrd’s caliber, who is sure to draw a high price. In his first season as Redskins head coach, Jay Gruden would like nothing more than to shore up his secondary.
A very recent rumor suggests the New England Patriots are a dark horse team to sign Byrd, although they may be too busy trying to re-sign Aqib Talib to pay enough attention to Byrd. Still, don’t count out the Pats as they seem to be on every big-name player’s short list of teams.
The St. Louis Rams are gaining ground fast in the race for Byrd as it’s being reported on Tuesday Jeff Fisher’s squad is making a strong push for the 27-year-old prize safety. With Cortland Finnegan gone, the Rams are looking for a new leader in their secondary and there’s none better available than Byrd right now.
A team that wants to remain under the radar in the Byrd sweepstakes is the Philadelphia Eagles. There’s only one report on them, but they did indeed call about Byrd and remain interested in signing him. Considering their free agent additions in the secondary haven’t panned out in recent years, their interest isn’t surprising.
The teams on the outside looking in at this point are the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns, who both want him, but aren’t really in play. Both teams have a ton of cap space and just as many holes to fill but right now, it doesn’t appear Byrd is interested in signing with either of them, although Miami is considered to have a better shot at landing him than Cleveland.
Be sure to keep up with Byrd and all the free agent signings with our live free agent tracker.