Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The "Byrd Man" has already established himself as one of the top safeties in the NFL at just 26 years old. Now, with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine ramping up the pressure, he should only see an increase in opportunities.
In his first four seasons with the Bills, Byrd has accumulated 18 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. In those four seasons, his team has gone 22-42 and has never ranked in the top 15 in either yards or points allowed.
In other words, Byrd has done a lot with little help around him.
Pettine plans to implement an aggressive scheme, and he has the playmakers to produce results. Based on his previous success with the Jets, it’s safe to assume he will find a way to get the most out of a strong defensive line and a young but talented secondary.
The No. 1 beneficiary will be Byrd.
Byrd is a free agent, and Bills lead journalist Chris Brown reports that he “wants to test the free agent market.” Brown believes the Bills may have to use the franchise tag on Byrd. Regardless, they would be foolish not to do everything in their power to retain him.
If they can keep him with the team, the young star safety should only continue to rise through the ranks of the league and thrive in Buffalo’s new defense.