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Jairus Byrd biggest mistake in Saints history

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At least in the past decade.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Here’s a fun question for the offseason: what is the biggest mistake of the New Orleans Saints in the past decade?

Bleacher Report attempted to answer this question - and for each of the 32 NFL teams - and for the New Orleans Saints, they named the 2014 signing of Jairus Byrd:

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis hasn’t had many head-scratchers either in free agency or the draft. However, he isn’t perfect.

In 2014, Loomis gave veteran safety Jairus Byrd a six-year, $54 million contract that quickly proved regrettable.

Coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl nods with the Buffalo Bills, Byrd was supposed to be a cornerstone in the New Orleans secondary for years to come. Instead, he played in only four games his first season in the Big Easy and had fewer interceptions over his three years with the Saints than he had in 2013 alone with the Bills.

Adding insult to injury, Byrd’s contract put the cap-strapped Saints in a position where they couldn’t afford to retain their own free agents, such as fellow defensive back Malcolm Jenkins.

Jenkins wound up Philadelphia, where he’s since been named to three Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl.

Whew.

Let’s start with the first line there. To say Mickey Loomis hasn’t had his misses in free agency or the draft is to be blinded by recent success. Sure, the 2017 was absolutely incredible and the 2016 was pretty solid in its own right, but beyond that, there are a lot of unfortunate swings-and-misses: Stephone Anthony, Stanley Jean-Baptist, and most of the 2018 NFL Draft class comes to mind. In free agency, Jairus Byrd is an obvious name, but so too are names like CJ Spiller and Brandon Browner. The extension given to Junior Galette also seems like a noteworthy inclusion.

If we expand the decision-making to moves other than just personnel, the decision to leave Vernon Davis virtually unguarded late in the 2011 NFC Championship Game and calling a pass play to Tommylee Lewis in the 2018 NFC Championship Game with the game on the line could both take the cake.

But what says you, Who Dat Nation? What do you think is the worse decision of the Saints in the past decade? Tell us in the comments. Send me presents.