According to many NFL professionals including SI’s Peter King, T.J. Ward was one of the top safeties in the game and landed earlier in the day with the Denver Broncos for $5.5 million per year. A whopping $3.5 million less than Jairus Byrd.
The Saints were already strapped for cash, but still found a way to sign one of the top free agents of 2014.
Byrd is only 27 years old and has made three Pro Bowls in his first five seasons. His interception total since 2009 is ranked second in the NFL and is something the Saints desperately needed.
The safety tandem of Kenny Vaccaro and Byrd sounds dangerous and is the type of ball-hawking players Rob Ryan can play with and thrive with. However, the Saints had other needs including offensive line help to protect Drew Brees.
Everyone overpays in free agency, but to make Byrd the highest paid safety in the history of the NFL sounds asinine? But, he doesn’t have many weaknesses and in today’s pass-happy NFL, you can’t underestimate the importance of someone who could bring that to a screeching halt.
Lets not forget, Byrd and the Bills were lit up by Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense in Week 8 of the 2013 NFL season. Let me refresh your memory, Jimmy Graham’s second touchdown, was scored after muscling through Jairus Byrd’s tackle.
Worth it or not? You tell me?