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St. Louis Rams Free Agent Options: Buffalo Bills’ Jairus Byrd

The Rams have met with Dick Jauron about the vacant defensive coordinator position in St. Louis. Jauron has spent decades in the NFL, and held a litany of coaching jobs with several different teams. What could his head coaching gig in Buffalo mean for the Rams?

Rick Stewart

Jauron was the Head Coach in Buffalo from 2006-2009. Heading into what would be his final season with the organization, the Bills drafted Jairus Byrd with their 2nd round pick; 42nd overall. Byrd, for the first time in his young career, is a free agent. According to Brian Galliford - over at Buffalo Rumblings - the Bills have yet to begin contract negotiations with their talented young safety.

It’s no secret that the Rams, who have more questions than answers at the position, could certainly use the services of an elite-level safety to shore up their secondary. Byrd, who made the Pro Bowl in 2012 [albeit as an alternate for Ed Reed], has had a tremendous start to his career.

2009 14 45 33 12 0.0 0 0 0 9 118 13 37 0 11 0 0 0
2010 16 89 62 27 1.0 3 2 0 1 37 37 37 1 2 1 9 0
2011 16 98 75 23 1.0 3 1 0 3 88 29 37 1 8 4 22 0
2012 16 76 53 23 0.0 4 2 0 5 81 16 45 0 6 5 10 0
Career 62 308 223 85 2.0 10 5 0 18 324 18 45 2 27 10 41 0

If you weren’t interested in Byrd, I’ll re-direct your eyes to the "INT" column above. He’s amassed 18 INT’s over his first four years; nine of which came in his rookie campaign. Prior to that, the Oregon product had tallied 17 INT’s in his first three seasons in college football. A ‘ball hawk’ in the Rams secondary would be welcomed. Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell have combined for 11 INT’s over the past four years. The majority of those [5], came from Mikell…while he was in Philadelphia.

If his affiliation with Dick Jauron isn’t enticing, Byrd is already familiar with the St. Louis Rams organization. Jairus’ father - Gil Byrd - was an assistant coach [secondary] for the Rams in 2005. It was at that time, when Jairus was still in high school, he met his mentor: Rams great, eight-time Pro Bowler, Aeneas Williams. The two are so close, Byrd even refers to him as “Uncle Aeneas." Here’s what Williams - a close friend of the Byrd family - had to say about the rookie:

I think he can be an All-Pro consistently. I think he has the ability.

What makes you an impact player is when that offensive team, going into their game plan during the week, has to account for you. I believe he's definitely one of those guys that - if they're not already accounting for him - they're at least acknowledging 'You need to know where 31 is.' They [Buffalo] got first round talent.

It could be a long shot for the Rams to land a top-tier Safety like Jairus Byrd. Dick Jauron hasn’t been signed by the Rams, and even if he were to get the gig, there’s no guarantee Byrd would be a sought after by the Rams organization. Clearly, his body of work speaks for itself, and I’m guessing that several organizations are drooling over the idea of adding him to their secondary.

The odds of Byrd leaving Buffalo are probably slim. And though the 2013 NFL draft appears to be loaded with talent at the Safety position, he is a proven commodity. The Rams don’t have a lot of cap room to make big splashes in the Free Agency pool in 2013. This would be one that would get my endorsement. I’d be willing to bet it would get one from a Rams legend, as well.