WEDNEDSAY, 5:52pm: Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter) says Byrd will earn $12.3MM in year one, including the $11MM signing bonus. Byrd has a $6MM roster bonus due next March that will be fully guaranteed next week and a $2MM base and $100K workout bonus that year (link). In 2016, $6MM of his $7.4MM base salary is guaranteed only for injury. In total, Byrd will earn $20.4MM in his first two years (link).
TUESDAY, 11:18pm: Byrd’s deal includes an $11MM signing bonus, tweets Tim Graham of the Buffalo News.
8:53pm: The Saints are giving Byrd a six-year, $54MM contract, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN. The deal includes a healthy $28MM guaranteed.
8:27pm: The Saints announced that they have signed Jairus Byrd to a six-year deal. In a free agent market chock full of quality safeties, Byrd was the very best and one of the best free agents available at any position.
Byrd was said to have serious interest in signing with the Redskins and Eagles and a return to the Bills was said to be possible, but he’ll be headed to New Orleans instead. The Dolphins and Rams also reached out to Byrd’s camp, though the same could probably be said for a lot of teams.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of maneuvering the Saints had to do in order to sign Byrd since they were really tight against the cap this offseason. Even though the expected release (or trade) of tailback Darren Sproles should free up some cash for New Orleans, the team was still about $2.4MM from the limit heading into today.
Byrd will now team up with Kenny Vaccaro to give the Saints one of the most threatening safety duos in the entire NFL. Byrd, 27, missed a good chunk of the season with injury but still wound up with 37 tackles and four interceptions across eleven games. Last year in Buffalo, Byrd made $6.3MM after receiving the franchise tag from the Bills.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.