The New Orleans Saints made one of the biggest moves of the free-agency period when they signed safety Jairus Byrd, a player most experts considered to be the top safety on the market, to a six-year contract.
A second-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills (42nd overall) out of Oregon in 2009, Byrd became a starter at free safety as a rookie in week four and made an immediate impact, as he was named as a consensus All-Rookie selection, tying for the NFL lead with a club rookie-record nine interceptions. He was the fourth Buffalo rookie selected to the Pro Bowl.
In that standout rookie campaign, Byrd became the first player since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to record three consecutive multi-interception games. The San Diego native has been selected to a total of three Pro Bowls and has appeared in 73 games with 66 starts overall. Byrd has posted career totals of 352 tackles (256 solo), three sacks, 22 interceptions, 33 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. His interception total since 2009 is ranked second in the NFL.
Byrd had back surgery in late May but Coach Sean Payton said at the time that he expected Byrd will be able to start training camp "with no problem."
Seeing Byrd line up in the secondary with future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey, safety Kenny Vaccaro and corner Keenan Lewis is something Saints fans will want to check out during camp and the preseason.
Photos of Jairus Byrd at the New Orleans Saints facility on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Photos by Alex Restrepo (New Orleans Saints photos)