NFL free agency is underway and fans across the country are glued to the Internet waiting for the news to come out that their team has made a drastic improvement.
Not a household name unless you live on the Canadian border, Jairus Byrd is considered the top free agent in the 2014 NFL off-season. A 27-year-old safety who has spent his entire career with the lackluster Buffalo Bills, Byrd has never received the acclaim he deserves. This seems to be the way of the NFL these days. Even defensive stars like Richard Sherman need to deliver a flamboyant diatribe on national television to get noticed even when he has already been unstoppable on the field.
Byrd has been in the defensive backfield for the Bills since 2009. In 14 games his rookie season Byrd made a career high 9 interceptions. The case with many defensive players on the coverage side of things, quarterbacks quickly learned not to throw the ball anywhere near this guy.
Less interceptions in the following seasons, Byrd picked up his defensive skills in other areas. Proving that he can be a hard-hitter similar to a John Lynch or Brian Dawkins, Byrd reached 75 tackles in his third professional season from the free safety position.
Byrd will be a much needed addition to whatever team signs him. As a three-time Pro-Bowler, the only thing missing from Byrd’s career seems to be a winning season.
So far Byrd has been linked to several teams around the league, understandably. Although with everyone interested, there seems to be no true frontrunner. Teams needing a missing piece, teams looking to rebuild their defense, and teams with no business signing him to what will probably be a contract around $9 million are all bidding for Byrd’s attention.
Experienced enough to be considered a veteran yet still young enough to make an impact for several years, Byrd has hit free agency at the perfect time for himself and teams looking to improve their defense.