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Jairus Byrd on Potentially Playing for the Packers: "It Would Be a Good Opportunity"

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Jairus Byrd on Potentially Playing for the Packers: "It Would Be a Good Opportunity"

During an appearance on ESPN's NFL Live on Tuesday, upcoming free agent safety Jairus Byrd was asked by host Trey Wingo about the possibility of playing for the Green Bay Packers, one of several teams he was asked about.

"It would be a good opportunity there as well," said Byrd. "Any time you have those places that have high-potent offenses that can put up points on the board, it always bodes well for a defensive back, because you have an opportunity to get the ball back to those quarterbacks to get more points on the board."

Byrd is considered the top safety and one of the top overall players in this year's class of free agent, but whether the Packers will be willing to get into bidding for a top-dollar safety is another matter.

The Buffalo Bills chose not to place the franchise tag on Byrd like they did the previous season, which would have paid him a one-year salary of $8.4 million.

Byrd is likely looking for a deal that will pay him in excess of the franchise tag value, perhaps as high as a deal averaging $10 million per season, although the more years and the more guaranteed dollars he receives, that number could go down.

Teams can start negotiating with free agents on March 8, although no contracts can be signed until March 11.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (85) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

lmills's picture

We can hope...

jmac34's picture

"Team x would be a great opportunity"
- Jairus Byrd

He wants to get paid and he doesn't care which team it is. Not gonna blame him for that but I am not going to put too much thought into what he says

Drealyn Williams's picture

Exactly what I was thinking. What is he suppose to say?

RC Packer Fan's picture

Especially when he was asked about going to Denver, Philly, Atlanta also.

He pretty much gave the same answer for all the teams.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Byrd would be a great addition.

I just don't see him being an addition to the Packers.

Evan's picture

Time to come home, Byrd.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I would love it. Really would.

I just don't see it happening.

Evan's picture

A boy can dream...

RC Packer Fan's picture

I'm right there with you. I'm dreaming also...

Stroh's picture

Byrd makes perfect sense for the Packers and the Packers make perfect sense for Byrd! Hope it happens, but for as much sense as it makes for both parties, another team will likely throw ridiculous cash at Byrd.

RC Packer Fan's picture

exactly, what I think as well...

He would be a perfect fit for us. He is the ball hawking safety we have been missing since Collins hasn't been able to play.

Problem though is the $ it would require to sign him. I don't see it happening.

Evan's picture

What are we expecting Byrd to get? Something like 5/$50 million? Maybe a couple million more?

(I can't believe Goldson got 5/$47.5.)

Hank Scorpio's picture

I can't see the Packers going up to $10 mil per season for a FA Safety.

Given the way Capers uses safeties, the right one might be worth that. But I think they'd need to see it in GB before they go that high.

Evan's picture

Oh, I agree.

I'm talking about what he'll get once it's all said and done - not what the Packers will give/offer him.

ATS's picture

What would Collins be worth right now?
Would the Packers have paid Collins what he was worth if he was still around?
Is Byrd in the same class as Collins (similar size and playing styles for sure)?

Stroh's picture

Byrd definitely in same class maybe slightly better than Collins was.

ATS's picture

"Byrd definitely in same class maybe slightly better than Collins was."


It'd be like re-signing a younger Collins!

WKUPackFan's picture

It's not exactly like re-signing Collins, but thats an interesting analogy.. Collins would have been in the GB system all that time. With Byrd there's the question of how he'll fit in, regardless of how good he is.

4thand1's picture

Collins was a class act, plus a great player. The pick in the SB and the run after catch was amazing.

Bobby D's picture

We have a better chance of signing Larry Bird

calabasa's picture

Or Jairus...I guess he's the only Jairus.

ray nichkee's picture

Larry bird would be an upgrade at safety

mark's picture


Lars's picture

If Morgan Burnett is worth over $5 million per season to essentially play mediocre, at best, football then Byrd is easily worth double that. He's a much better player than SS Goldson, who was way overpaid last year.

We'll see how serious TT is about truly improving the defense in 2014 or if he thinks he "can do better in the draft" again (Cough, Jerron McMillan, choke, MD Jennings.)

Hank Scorpio's picture

Burnett is overpaid. Using that contract as a baseline is a bad idea.

Evan's picture

Goldson is overpaid too...but using those contracts as a baseline is exactly what players/agents do.

Stroh's picture

Goldson is pd over 8M and only had 2 turnovers. 1 INT and 1FF

Bidding for Byrd starts at 8.5 or 9M minimum.

Horse's picture

Supposedly Byrd turned down $30M/3 yrs. already.

ATS's picture

"Supposedly Byrd turned down $30M/3 yrs. already."

To play in BUFFALO.

Maybe he just want to get outa' Buffalo.

Stroh's picture

Not much chance of winning a SB in Buffalo. Poor attendance and the Bills play a game every year in Canada. Lots of reasons to get outta Buffalo.

Hank Scorpio's picture

"Goldson is overpaid too…but using those contracts as a baseline is exactly what players/agents do."

True enough. But negotiation is a two way street. The teams that manage their cap poorly on their way to Offseason Championships will engage in those talks. Teams that manage their cap well will sit on their hands.

Craig's picture

Exactly. With extensions coming up for Nelson and Cobb, we're still players in the free agent market, but Ted's not going to mess up our cap like Dallas and New Orleans has done. There's only so many big money guys you can have on a draft and develop team and we've already picked Rodgers and Matthews. Hopefully we'll be seeing extensions for Cobb and Nelson soon.

RunAndHyde's picture

This isn't happening. Just get ya Hageman or Tuitt in rd one and Bucannon or Boston in rd 2 or 3. Boom done....

Stroh's picture

Except it'll take the drafted players bout 2 yrs to make an impact. Thompson needs to sign a FA Safety IMO that can step in and start to shore up the secondary asap.

Drealyn Williams's picture

It doesn't necessarily have to take 2 years for the rookie(s) to make an impact. Reid from the 49ers. Vaccarro from the Saints. Richardson from the Jets. Mathieu from the Cardinals. I know the list isn't long,but the right player and right coaching -- it can be done. The Packers just need to finally hit more (talent) AND coach better.

Stroh's picture

Not on other teams, no it doesn't... But Capers scheme is so damn complex that rookies never make an impact. Look at Pitts they use the same scheme. Every draft pick they have used on D for the past decade or more hasn't even started as a rookie. That's including Polamalu, Woodley, Hood, Heyward etc...

So it can happen on other teams but not in the Capers/LeBeau D. Why do you think none of the recent draft picks made much impact. Only Hayward and Shields at CB, a position that is the easiest to transition to. And they were put into positions that didn't require an in depth knowledge of the D. Just had to play man coverage w/o worrying about play calls or adjustments.

Capers/LeBeau schemes are too damn complex.

ATS's picture

Or sign Byrd, Draft Hageman, and draft Bucannon.


Brooklyn81's picture

Exactly my thoughts. We definitely need to sign a FA safety and draft one in the 1st or 2nd to create competition and force Burnett to play better

Stroh's picture

They aren't going to sign a FA Safety AND use a high draft pick on a safety. One or the other, not both. Sign a FA move Hyde to Safety and use a pick on a CB if they don't sign Shields... If they do sign Shields and a FA safety use the picks elsewhere.

Brooklyn81's picture

We can see but I'm a little tired of the position moves. It never seems to work

RC Packer Fan's picture

I like that way of thinking. Not sure about Hageman, but signing Byrd, drafting a player in round 1 and Bucannon in round 2. I like that.

Round 1, CJ Mosley, Eric Ebron, Darqueze Dennard would be good options with signing Byrd.

Stroh's picture

If they sign Byrd and Shields... DL Hageman, Tuitt, Nix at ILB Mosley. If they don't sign Shields might consider Gilbert at CB. I don't see a 1st rd on TE.

Zippy Joe's picture

Byrd would be a great fit coming from a cold-weather small market club like Buffalo. Not only is he too expensive, there are several other clubs w/ cap money to overpay him. Second tier free agents are the best option. Look how Seattle capitalized on the short term deals with guys wanting to prove their value.

Arlo's picture

Jairus Byrd wearing G&G in 2014 is about as likely as Stroh being named MM's personal trainer.

Not going to happen.

Stroh's picture

Arlo commenting on anything Packers w any intelligence. ..


ray nichkee's picture

Stroh will never get the personal trainer job. Arlo is rubbing it in. He's got that job in hold. Where do you think that pro bowler physique comes from. Pass the beer nuts please. I'm hungry for a pickled egg.

Stroh's picture

I don't work as a Trainer anymore and I live on the other side of the country. Why would McCarthy hire a personal trainer anyways. He has the Packers facilities to train in and the Packers S and C Coaches to help him if he works out.

Kt's picture

I'd rather give the top dollar offer to Byrd than to Shields.

Evan's picture

I'm really torn on that.

No doubt Byrd is the superior player and more worth a huge contract. And the Packers need a stud safety in the worst way. But as I've said, losing Shields to pay Byrd strikes me as robbing Peter to pay fixes one hole by creating another.

I'm not sure it makes sense.

Then again, I'm not 100% sure they can't afford both, not with the cap expected to balloon the next two years.

Matt's picture

Teddy doesn't shop during the first week of free agency. The way this free agency period is lining up, it looks like there is some depth in the defensive back and defensive line market. Makes me wonder if Ted goes after a guy like Brendan Browner and tries to fill the safety spot in the draft. Browner's young, pro bowl caliber, and will probably come at a discount with his history of violations. Plus he has incentive to keep his nose clean after missing out on the super bowl.

Zk's picture

Browner will be suspended to start season again, TT won't waste money on a troubled player

Packers west's picture

Actually I could see giving Browner a shot (short term, prove it type). He's not exactly Teds' idea of packer people, but definetly has the football skills. I don't know, you got to wonder if he can't even stay clean with Pete Carrol, will that somehow change? Maybe Johnny Jolly can have a "look kid, Ive been where your going" talk with him.

Evan's picture

The question is how good is he without the PEDs.

Matt's picture

Evan, good point.

His initial suspension in 2012 was for Adderall.

The most recent suspension was a substance abuse violation for "refusing to submit to drug tests from 2007-2010" after testing positive for marijuana in 2006 with the Broncos.

I'm not an MD, or have any knowledge of pharmacology, but I don't imagine weed is much of a PED. Adderall maybe, but to what extent I couldn't say.

Stroh's picture

I agree... they can afford it short term and if cap increases even more so. Time is NOW to make it happen! Bettin Thompson realizes it too...

Jordan's picture

Doesn't make sense to sign him. Packers are rebuilding. They need to let the rookies and younger guys get as many snaps as possible. Too many holes to fill this year.

With any luck, the Packers can make a push for the SB in 2015 or 2016.

Stroh's picture

Packers are NOT rebuilding. Certainly not... did it make sense to sign Wood and Pick?!

One maybe 2 players from another SB Trophy!

Jordan's picture

It made perfect sense. Packers were coming off a 4-12 season and needed immediate help very badly to even field an 8-8 product.

Not to even mention that Ted Thompson wanted Ahmad Carroll gone as soon as possible. And throw in one Donnell Washington and one Joey Thomas.

TT fixed those screwed up draft picks in a hurry.

Packers went 10-6 before TT arrived (2004). They went 4-12 the year TT arrived (2005). That will put pressure on any new GM because the average fan doesn't understand "rebuild" and/or they refuse to accept it....especially right after they went 10-6 and went to playoffs in 2004.

Any more questions? ;)

Stroh's picture

Thompson had to cut Sherman's blunders and clean the cap mess Sherman left him. He wasn't under any pressure whatsoever. He had to clean up the mess Sherman left him. If the Packers weren't rebuilding then they certainly aren't now. I would say they were FAR more rebuilding in '04 and '05 than they are now.

Packers are reloading after losing key playmakers on Defense. Signing a guy like Byrd to replace Collins makes perfect sense. They need a vet at Safety to help clean up the miscommunication issues.

GrEEn KniGhT's picture

Maybe that's why Pack are letting Shields walk so they can sign Byrd. Byrd is the word.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Shields hasn't signed anywhere yet. I've seen it reported the Packers have interest. So I don't think they are letting Shields walk. More like letting the market play out.

Sometimes that means the player comes back and sometimes it means they go elsewhere. We'll find out later this month which is the case with Shields.

al's picture

THIS GUY IS A BEAST ..........

fmatt's picture

Would you be willing to let Shields go in order to sign Byrd?

ATS's picture


Here's why...


is a better group than...

Rookie or any current S on roster/Burnett/Shields/Williams

Evan's picture

What about:

Clemons/Burnett/Shields/Williams plus a rookie S.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Now,I'm just saying -- a talented secondary means nothing without a talented D-Line. Again,just saying...

WKUPackFan's picture

It's not just about who will be a better group next season alone. It's about how it all fits over the next few years.

For this year: Pryor/Burnett/Shields/TWill. Bring in a low cost FA safety to back up Pryor (or Ha-Ha or Bucannon). Pryor is an immediate improvement over MD with a cap friendly multi-year rookie contract. It won't take Pryor 2-3 years to make an impact.

Drealyn Williams's picture

So you're suggesting not to address the D-Line?

Nononsense's picture

If Shields decides to sign elsewhere then signing Byrd becomes a slight possibility. If they re-sign Sam there is zero chance they go after Byrd.

Brian's picture

It will not happen. Packers are going to get free agents this year but they will be second wave guys. They will be vets that can patch holes. Lets hope 1 or 2 of them turn out like a Reggie White, Santana Dotson, Ryan Pickett or Charles Woodson. Ted will play the value card.

Just Draft BABY!!!

4thand1's picture

Reggie was the 1st big FA signing ever. Reggie today would cost 15 mil or more a season.

Chuck's picture

Maybe someone more like Jenkins from New Orleans

4thand1's picture

I could honestly seeing Delmas in GB. Teams like picking up players within the div and Delmas would be cheap. His knees are really bad so forget it. If he could stay healthy, it would be a big jump from MDJ, hell anything would. Hell he played 16 games for the Lolions last year.

4thand1's picture

Byrd will go to the highest bidder. For him its all about the money, heard this song and dance before. If someone pays him 10+ mil @ year then so be it. I see him in a Raiders uniform. If the Pack could get him for 8 and spread it out it would be nice. Ted ain't gonna tie up 1/3 of available cap space on a safety.

Drealyn Williams's picture

I'd like to think he's sick of losing every year and if he's a true "competitor" money won't be THE deciding factor.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Lol,on a sidenote,y'all hear/read about Chicago adding 5k more seats trying to win a Super Bowl bid? Ha!!!

Evan's picture

Fix that shitty sandlot of a field and then we'll talk.

I'm totally in favor of cold weather Super Bowls.

4thand1's picture

Worst field in the NFL. What a joke and they worry about safety.

4thand1's picture

Remember the name Dezmon Southward. 4.31 40 at the WS pro day and a 42" vertical . He was held out of the combine because of a misdiagnosed neck fracture. Said he never injured his neck. Oh, and he's a safety, 6'1" 212.

Stroh's picture

Poor instincts as a coaches son? Not too interested... Watched him at UW past few seasons and never made any plays to speak of. A bigger version of Jennings? Camp body bottom of the roster ST player. Don't get caught up in his measurables or that he's a UW kid. We need better than him!

Morgan Mundane's picture

Not happening at those prices. Ouch.

NashvillePacker's picture

The Packers don't have to break the bank on a $10M/year player. They can spend a fraction of that and instantly upgrade their safety play. Carolina's Mike Mitchell comes to mind. The play next to Burnett was so bad it dragged down his play as well. Adding a veteran, like Tramon Williams suggested and several posters like Stroh mentioned too, would instantly upgrade the entire secondary.

Pure Packer Fan's picture

This is like going on a shopping spree on a budget ideally I would love to resign Shields and sign Byrd and Garrett Graham draft Mosley in the 1st and bucannon in the second but think about the fact you can get Clemons and whitner for what Byrd cost and I love Shields but people seem to have forgot about Heyward and Williams need to have his contract reconstructed and Burnett should be let go that would give us even more cap room ....I cant wait until fa starts and the draft its over with

HUMP's picture

Where is my internet packer buddy STROH,and what have you done to him?? He's talking like he wants the pack to sign a high priced free agent!!! in the words of the great VINCE LOMBARDI....."WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT THERE"!!! Yes Stroh,you are right on the money. Jairus Byrd might even be better than the great Nick Collins,and Byrd at 5 yrs 50 mil is worth every penny!! watching him interview,he has that same cold look in his eye as a James Harrison. This man loves football and he's one of the few in the nfl that are worth top dollar. Sign him ted,you were ready to pay Raji 8mil yr,Byrd would be a bargain at 10 mil. He's the best safety in the NFL period!

mark's picture

I actually think there's a MUCH better chance of this happening than people are saying. Yes, draft and develop, that's been the rule. But every so often TT tosses a curve ball.

In 2006 he shocked people and signed a guy named Charles Woodson for big dollars. That worked out ok. In 2009 he traded a pile of picks and moved up to select Clay Matthews. That also worked out ok.

When an impact guy, or when "the right" impact guy is available, TT has been willing to make a move. Not only is Jairus Byrd a phenomenal player in his own right, but signing him does a couple things...

1) lessens the blow should we lose Shields
2) eases the burden on Burnett
3) let's us go another direction than safety in draft

I also don't think it's lost on TT that Rodgers has 5-6 (maybe more) peak years in front of him, how many more years can we afford to watch our defense leak?

Lastly...Kaepernick. It's time to solve that puzzle. Byrd (and a LB or d-lineman in rd 1) might be the formula.

Go Pack Go!

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