The Bills drafted Jairus Byrd in the second round, No. 42 overall, of the 2008 NFL Draft, and he has been nothing but spectacular in the secondary. He is currently signed to a four-year, $4.15 million deal, which ends this year. Byrd has made a huge impact since his rookie season, in which he picked off nine passes.
He is a complete safety, utilizing great coverage skills with his solid skills in all aspects of the game. In his three years with the team he has made 229 tackles, two sacks, defended 21 passes, picked of 13 and forced six fumbles. While it will definitely cost a pretty penny to retain his services, the team has no proven safeties behind him, and it should be the main focus of Buddy Nix to re-sign this ball hawking safety.
ProFootballFocus, a website dedicated to football sabermetrics had this to say about Byrd’s 2011 campaign:
This was the year where Byrd established himself as one of the league’s top safeties, with a season that earned him our third-highest grade of all his peers. He broke up seven passes to go with his three interceptions, while only allowing 51.5% of passes into coverage to be completed. What’s more, for a player who spends most of his time playing deep (84.1% of all snaps), he notched up 35 tackles in run defense, good for 16th of all safeties. He’s a rare beast; a free safety who is active on every play.