The Saints are planning on moving veteran safety Jairus Byrd to the bench, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Other changes could also be coming to the New Orleans defense, which ranks 30th in DVOA through three weeks, per Rapoport.
Byrd, 29, has struggled through three games this season, and was notably beaten by running back Devonta Freeman and the Falcons last week. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but Byrd currently ranks as the No. 49 safety in the league among 74 qualifiers, according to Pro Football Focus. Second-round rookie Vonn Bell will presumably see more snaps with Byrd headed to the sideline.
“I think the status quo sometimes can be your enemy,” head coach Sean Payton told reporters, including Nick Underhill of the Advocate, earlier this week. “I think you look at every area, not just one specific area. No different to the meeting schedule to how they are practicing, you look at all of that.”
The Saints signed Byrd to a six-year, $54MM deal prior to the 2014 campaign, and that contract has proven to be one of the worst free agent accords in recent memory. Strapped for cap space, New Orleans converted a portion of Byrd’s 2015 base salary into a signing bonus, making it even more difficult to part ways with the defensive back.
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