The New Orleans Saints cut Safety Jairus Byrd early into the offseason, designating him as a post-June 2nd cut, to free up significant salary cap space during this signing period. Presumably, his salary will go to signing the the Saints’ 2017 draft picks. But does that mean we’ve seen the last of the Byrdman in New Orleans?
Still, with free agents continuing to sign across the league, the Jairus Byrd front has been awfully quiet. The Saints have since brought back Safety Rafael Bush to fille the void left by Byrd after his release.
Bush would presumably come in as a starter at the Free Safety position in 2017. However, in Bush’s six-year, 62-game career, he has only started a total of 18 games. He’s logged three career interceptions, with two of them coming last year. Byrd likewise recorded two interceptions last season, with each of them coming in Week 16 against the Buccaneers.
There are many Saints fans in the WhoDat Nation who believed Byrd to be turning a corner in his first full season in a Dennis Allen defense. The hope was that Byrd could begin to resemble the player he was in Buffalo, where back-to-back Pro Bowls before signing a six-year $56 million dollar deal to come to New Orleans.
To bring Byrd back to New Orleans, it wouldn’t take nearly the same payday as Byrd already has a portion of his guaranteed money still coming his way from his previous Saints’ contract. Bush could very well be starter the Saints need in 2017, but Byrd would be a smart play if the Saints wanted to add depth at the position.