Jairus Keelon Byrd was born in San Diego but moved to St. Louis before attending Clayton High School. While playing for Clayton he was a duel threat playing QB,WR,S, and special teams. Son of, 4X all pro and S.D. all-time INT leader,San Diego standout CB Gill Byrd, Jairus Byrd has quickly and quietly (being in Buffalo will do that) developed into one of the premier safeties in the league. Coming out of Oregon, Byrd played cornerback compiling 56 tackles and 5 interceptions. With a 4.6 40 and a 35" vert, Byrds measurables made him the third Safety taken in the draft behind Louis Delmas (Detroit) and his teammate (and true Safety) Patrick Chung (N.E.) Buffalo drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft.(#42)
After playing backup his first two games in the NFL Byrd was thrust into (and never gave up) the starting role for the Bills after injuries to Donte Whitner and Bryan Scott. On Dec 23rd of his rookie season after tallying 45 tackles and 9 ints in 11 games, Byrd was placed on IR with a groin injury. Despite not starting all 16 games, Byrd was selected to the pro bowl although he would not play due to the injury.
Over the next 3 years Byrd stayed healthy playing all 16 games for the Bills averaging 3 ints and 88 tackles over those 3 years and becoming one of the best at his position. After the 2012 season Byrd was slapped with the franchise tag by the Bills who refused to pay him as the top safety in the game. In comparison, Polamalu ($7.5), Berry ($7) , and Rolle ($7) were the top three paid at safety. The franchise tag for safety in 2013 accounted for $6.9 million, making him the 4th highest paid safety in the game. Although he held out till 4 days before the regular season, he did eventually sign the tag and reported to the Bills although he was injured. He missed the first 5 games due to plantar fascia but then went on to have a pro bowl season once again.
During the season it was reported he repeatedly tried to work out a trade that would get him out of Buffalo and pay him the money he wants. The issue for Buffalo now that they have made it through the year while retaining his services are that the franchise tag for Byrd next year will jump to $8.3 mill. With roughly $15.5 left under the cap for 2014 the Bills would be using more than half on 1 player. Byrds career has been fantastic in his 5 years in the league, totaling 353 tackles, 3 sacks, 22 ints, 10 FF and 2 touchdowns.
He has been voted to the pro bowl three out of five seasons as well as being an all-pro all three of those (2009,2012,2013) Byrd is a ballhawk who tackles well and provides great help in run support. Could the Rams use his services on a great up and coming defence? FOR SURE! Can we afford him? MAYBE! Will the Bills let him walk? Probably knowing the way the bills are! We can only wait and see what happens, but in the mean time we can all speculate over what the Rams can/will/should do! We may not be the GSOT anymore, but maybe we can put forth a team that smashes everyone on defence and puts on a good show on offense!