Potential New York Jets’ Free Agent: Jairus Byrd

Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just a few weeks from the start of free agent season. So, what do we do? Do we wait to see what the team does before we talk about it? Heck, no. We pretend we are the general manager, and make suggestions as to what the team SHOULD do. As fans, we know that this is our job.

I say that tongue in cheek of course, but this IS the time for speculation. So, let’s get to it.

There has been a lot of talk about the need for weapons on the offensive side of the football, with good reason. Geno Smith needs people to throw to, and we have talked about the situation at length. Whether it’s through free agency, the draft, or a combination, rest assured, John Idzik will not go into the season with the same problem.

But, what about the defense, specifically, safety?

Antonio Allen is a good player, up and coming, but he needs help. Dawan Landry had an excellent season, but he is more of a run stopper, not really known for defending against the pass. Ed Reed is great for lending his experience, but who knows if he even has a full season left in him? Josh Bush hasn’t done much to distinguish himself.

The biggest problem the Jets had on defense was the vulnerability over the top to the deep ball.

In walks Jairus Byrd.

Take a look at his career stats so far:

Defense & Fumbles

Def Interceptions Fumbles Tackles
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Sk Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Tkl Ast Sfty AV
2009* 23 BUF FS 31 14 11 9 118 0 37 11 30 12 8
2010 24 BUF FS 31 16 14 1.0 1 37 1 37 2 3 0 2 0 0 61 27 5
2011 25 BUF S 31 16 16 1.0 3 88 1 37 8 3 0 1 0 0 75 23 5
2012* 26 BUF FS 31 16 16 5 81 0 45 6 4 0 2 0 0 53 23 9
2013* 27 BUF FS 31 11 10 1.0 4 85 0 57 6 1 0 0 0 0 37 11 8
Career 73 67 3.0 22 409 2 57 33 11 0 5 0 0 256 96 35

Here are some highlights, in the “Jairus Byrd Chronicles”

Byrd clearly has a nose for the football, which is what you want out of a free safety. The free safety literally is “free” to roam, and when the ball comes his way, he can go and get it. His stats, along with that tape, make that fact abundantly clear.

Jairus also has great hands, as when the ball comes near him, he is making the pick.

He has had injury problems in his career, including in his interception leading rookie year of 2009. It will be imperative that he checks out as healthy before Idzik and company were to talk about anything serious with this guy. But if he checks out, Jairus Byrd would be an excellent addition.

Pay attention, John Idzik, and take a look at this guy.

Topics: Jairus Byrd, New York Jets, Nfl Free Agency

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  • Paul Newbold

    The Jets need a true FS. As you point out Allen is developing into a fairly good safety. Landry does play the run well, but as he showed this season, his coverage skills are lacking big time. Reed is still a great safety, but arguably, he’s lost a step and is no longer in his prime. The position needs to be addressed for the future, whether through the draft or free agency. Byrd is a monster free safety and he’d fill the hole for the foreseeable future. I’d love to see him in Green next season, not sure if Idzik is willing to spend that freely though. He won’t come cheap, but might be worth signing, he’d bring a bunch of stability to a much aligned secondary!

  • Piazza31nyj

    I would sure love to have Byrd but cross him off your lists because it’s not happening. Rex values corners over safety. He’s also not going to be comfortable starting Cro and milliner because neither are lockdown #1 corners. Idzik isn’t going to pay 5/50 to anyone. If he’s going to get big piece, it could be CB Alterraun Verner who’s underrated and will likely get 5 years and 5-6 m per year. That’s a good contract for a #1 corner who’s entering his prime.

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