Byrd: Eagles Headed In Right Direction

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills

In the next week, Jairus Byrd will be asked for his opinion on hypothetically playing for a number of different teams around the NFL.

That process started today when the soon-to-be free agent safety joined SportsCenter for a few minutes. Anchor Hannah Storm asked Byrd about the possibility of joining the Eagles (the previous question was about the Browns).


"Oh, I’m familiar with Coach [Chip] Kelly and I know they're headed in the right direction," he said. "They made the playoffs last year. So like I said, there’s a lot that still has to go on, but obviously those are two great coaches [Kelly and Mike Pettine] and they look forward to doing big things this year."

Kelly wasn't the head coach while Byrd was at Oregon, but he was the offensive coordinator for two of those seasons (2007 and 2008).

Byrd said "no door is shut" when asked about returning to the Bills, but it seemed pretty clear that he wants to test the market, which figures to have several potential suitors.

Pettine, his defensive coordinator last year in Buffalo, is now the Browns' head coach. And Cleveland opted not to franchise T.J. Ward.

Meanwhile, Byrd's father, Gil, is the cornerbacks coach in Tampa.

As we've mentioned on several occasions, Byrd is one of the best in the league as a single high safety in the deep middle of the field. And he's only 27-years-old.

"I’m just taking it in stride," he said. "I understand that it’s a business and I’m just ready for the next phase of that.

"It’ll be fun and exciting. I think it’s something new so it’s kind of the unknown, but I’m looking forward to it. I don’t really know what it’ll be like, but hopefully it’ll be a good experience."

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  • NickS1

    With another week until free agency, this is just mean, Sheil…

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  • Token

    You do have to wonder if the Browns would only let Ward walk because Pettine is pretty confident he can get Byrd to Cleveland.

    • EaglesFanInPhx

      Highly doubt that.

    • CJ

      That has to be the only explanation that makes sense. But, really, besides Pettine, what’s the difference between Cleveland and Buffalo?

      • Maggie

        I don’t think a river ever caught fire in Buffalo.

    • NickS1

      Thing is, Byrd is obviously comfortable in Pettine’s D. I wonder how his responsibilities would differ in Davis’ D, and how responsive he would be to those differences.

      • Brian

        The Safety, in Davis’ system, is a hunter. Would mean no more watching the Slot rec/TE run free between the Corners and LBs. Also, limited run D responsibilities.

        • Token

          He wants someone that can be left alone back there. Im sure he doesnt want to play such loose coverage outside like he had to this season because of our terrible safeties. It would also free up the other safety to blitz. help in the box.

      • 76mustang

        Davis’ D fashioned around Chip’s philosophy – Chip wants a Defense that can compete against his offense – Byrd missed the evolution of that philosophy at Oregon, but it was already in its beginning phases with Chip influencing the pace of practices and position drills. Byrd would flourish in Davis’ schemes and help make his back end teammates all the better. Will be interesting to see what value the Eagles place on him ceiling wise.

      • JofreyRice

        If they really have no use for a guy that can play legit single high safety in the NFL–which I’d have a hard time understanding–then they can sign Ward, to come up and smack people around in the box. With the scope of skills these two guys bring, one of them should check every box.

    • knighn

      Yeah. Once upon a time Haslam and Banner were confident they were going to land Chip Kelly…

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I saw the news about Byrd, but what did CLE say about Ward? Are they really not trying to keep him? All I saw was they used the tag on their Center, so I’d assume Pettine is just confident he can get 1 or the other

      • Token

        They used the transition tag on Mack. So he can and will visit other teams from what I understand. I havent heard if Ward is close to a deal or not.

      • Johnny Domino

        If CLE trades Byrd for Ward, I’d take him as a younger, cheaper consolation prize.

    • JofreyRice

      I don’t know what kind of sway Pettine has over him. It’s not like a Babin/Washburn thing where he was only ever successful under him as a coach; Byrd’s played for like 3 different D-Coordinators in his time in Buffalo. Another reason to like him, IMO. Differing roles and fronts he played behind, and did the whole thing at a high level. I know Rex Ryan has “his guys”, and Pettine grew up under him, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily transferrable.

      There is no excuse that “they don’t fit” because one of these guys fits either kind of NFL safety you’re looking for. If they sit out on both Byrd and Ward, with absolutely nothing at these safety spots but a rookie with a handful of starts, I’m going to be really disappointed.

      Look, he’s not coming cheap. He’s the spearhead of what the new CBA did for player contracts and free agency. They took guaranteed money away from the unproven rookies, and increased the market value of established high quality veterans. He’s a top 5 (maybe even top) safety in the entire league, and has, realistically 3-4 more years of his prime in front of him.

      There is a limit to what you can pay him, but the starting point of his deal will be Goldson, and then there will be a markup on him because he’s a better safety, and there’s a higher cap, and the salaries inflate year to year, and whatever value he can gain from teams bidding against each other. It may be significantly more than we’ve seen for a safety, but it’s not like the guy is going to get Jay Cutler money. It will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 11-12 per, I think. The Eagles have that. They paid 12.5 per year for two years of watching Nnamdi get hit in the facemask with the football and miss tackles, right? If they can’t figure a way to afford it now, how are they going to run a team when the QB is making more than a 3rd round rookie?

      • Token

        I think we are about to see if they are serious about making a run in the next two years. They literally couldnt imagine a better fit for a gigantic hole they have on the team. Its ideal.

        I was thinking his contract will average in the 9′s or low 10′s per year. I think thats fine. But maybe im underestimating it.

        • JofreyRice

          you could be right, I’m sort of forecasting worst case scenario. I think anywhere between 9s-12 they should be in on. If having a great safety allows you to be more aggressive with average corners, then he’s really strengthening multiple spots for that cost.

          • Token

            What do you think the plan is for corner? By next year they have some things to figure out there. If Shields gets anywhere around what Keenan Lewis got id be a player on him.

          • JofreyRice

            I like Shields. I don’t really know about his market value. If he was available for the right price I’d do it. I think he’s about a push with Fletcher, slight upgrade on Williams. He can really run.

            I wouldn’t be mad if they drafted one early-ish, either; would just prefer someone else in the first.

          • oreofestar

            I like Shields a the right price but as long as Ward and Byrd are the priority

        • RIP illa

          Your 1st paragraph is exactly why I was so pissed with the quotes from the Howie article earlier. I can understand the smoke and mirrors, but if he’s actually believing in that, “treat FA like you treat the draft” BS then I’m seriously not understanding!!! There is less speculation involved with FA than the draft. And basically going w/ a BPA approach is beyond retarded IMO. FA, now more so than ever (since it’s ahead of the draft), is a time where you go and fill holes and needs so you can go somewhat BPA in the draft. If there’s a good player who’s sitting there in FA, that you can afford even though you don’t really need him…well that’s a luxury and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend signing him, unless everything checks out with a fine tooth comb and you can make sure he gets on the field. But as you said…If there is a major huge gapping hole at a position and the top player at that position is available to fill it and you can afford it…Then F’n go all out and stop giving these B****made quotes!!! If you get him great, if he decides to turn you down, oh well.”
          And this stupid ass dream team BS, needs to be put to bed!!! We’re talking about one player, in his prime, and that’s the best at his position. We’re not talking about bringing in 5-7 players, and over paying a bunch of them, while overlapping positions, and not taking care of our home grown talent!!!

          • CJ

            Can’t upvote this enough.

    • Billy Smith

      Byrd and Ward actually don’t play the same position. Byrd is a free safety and Ward is a strong safety.

      • Token

        That really doesnt mean much. Depends on the scheme.

  • Tikkit

    Factory of Sadness or Chip Kelly’s Shock and Awe Machine? Tough choices…

  • G_WallyHunter

    Avant :’(
    Just outright released, was he asked about pay cut? Doubt it

    • NickS1

      Damn. That’s sad. Hope he comes back to coach one day.

    • Brandon Boykin, OLB

      I’m really hoping it’s one of those cut and resign for way less type of deals. If not… Damn, that was my guy.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya same, kind of sudden. Strikes me as a surprise that Howie and company would just outright cut a guy who brought so much to the locker room and the new culture… Hopefully resigned in next few days, that’d be ideal

      • knighn

        Once upon a time Trotter was my guy. The Eagles never should have let Trotter go the first time. They were absolutely right when they let Trotter go the second time.
        The Eagles can’t replace Avant’s presence in the locker room…. but they should be able to replace his presence on the field with a younger model with more upside… especially in this draft.

        • Brandon Boykin, OLB

          You can EASILY replace Avant’s talent level in the draft. I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about that locker room presence. He has been huge for the past few years. He’s been a model on and off the field. That’s what worries me.

          • knighn

            There’s a saying about NFL players: “you can’t lead from the bench.” With the Eagles depth, and Avant’s skill set, Avant would likely have been the 4th or 5th option, at best (including TEs, other players to be drafted). Avant also has never been all that productive in the NFL, only scoring 12 TDs in 8 years, and it was not like Avant was going to give you a lot otherwise – not a ton of yards, not a ton of special teams productivity. So… eventually, if Avant is hardly playing at all, he becomes “some old, washed up player” trying to give advice.
            For some reason, coaches are viewed differently. They have authority in their title and position… even if they are former players who never excelled. That is why I sincerely hope Avant comes back as a coach.
            Still, your concern is definitely warranted. Player-leaders are important in every locker room and 2011-2012 Eagles’ seasons were perfect examples of what happens when a team lacks good leadership.

    • bjbrown15

      Not enough to go around and him being a 5th 6th option on offense is disrespectful he will be missed but had to happen. Rather get a young wr that can play inside late in the draft

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya agreed, its true, just sucks

    • EaglesFanInPhx

      Love his attitude, work ethic, and hands. That said, I don’t see how we have room for him on the roster right now. DJax + Maclin + Cooper + Rookie + another ST contributor (like brad smith) = no room for avant.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya unfortunately, its too bad there wasn’t more talent in him to go along with all those intangibles, sucks, we all knew it kind of had to happen but it doesn’t mean we wanted to see it happen, really hoping they resign to veterans minimum. Wouldn’t care if he did kickoff returns only, his presence and contagious work ethic should be in locker room.

      • sprawl

        There are no guarantees after his injury but we can’t forget Benn as a potential starter… lots of bodies at WR if they can keep relatively healthy

        • anon

          *Benn as a potential starter on ST

    • cliff henny

      Eagles don’t do pay cuts often, cant really ever think of one. personally, i’d rather be told to test market and revisit opportunity once camp started.

    • jabostick

      To be
      expected I guess. Still one of my all time favourite guys. I loved how he wore
      #81 and was pretty much the polar opposite of the other #81 after the TO
      fiasco.

      My favorite play might’ve been the mostly unheralded (and
      concussion inducing) block on the Desean return. Contrast that with Jackson’s
      showboating at the goalline and it kind of epitomized Avant to me.

  • Brian

    Avant was just released. :(

    • aub32

      We knew it was coming.

      • Brian

        I know, but he was a favorite of mine. He is a solid role model, especially for kids that need to overcome the bullshit of thug life. Rare these days in professional sports. My first debate on 24/7 was defending him (against you I believe). lol, I guess you were right.

        • aub32

          I liked his work ethic, but that just isn’t enough. The guy made really good money and will be a fan favorite for years to come. He’s bound to return to philly one day either on the coaching staff or hosting a segment on 97.5

  • Rick H

    Eagles Green is the color you look best in Jairus!!!

  • NickS1

    If we really need cap space, I know a certain safety that could be cut and would save us about 2.75mil….

    • cliff henny

      and player could save about 10k in expenses, sure plenty of us would help him move.

      • GEAGLE

        We need a ST ace…I’m down to cut Chung, but then I’d want us to bring back Colt or steal Corey Graham from the ravens who want to retain him…we need a ST ace on the roster, and I don’t know what Jason Phillips status is or if he is even in our plans(because we like Naje and want to upgrade out back up ILBs

        I really really want to see what our coaches can do with Vikings bust CB Chris Cook. Getting a cheap young CB who is 6’2 212lbs and runs a 4.4 is nothing to sneeze at…I’d cut Marsh and replace him with Cooks in a heartbeat

        • cliff henny

          you had me at ‘cut Marsh’
          .
          cant stand chung on defense, but as 4th safety that never ever sees field except for ST, he is worth 3.25m. he has won games with his ST play, how many 4th string safeties can say that. plus, money is spent. hate these types of roster discussions, coleman vs chung, ugh, correct answer is neither

          • GEAGLE

            I would actually prefer Corey to Chung, just as our full time ST leader…while Chung is a safety we never want on the field, Corey won’t be a starter, but he is a DB who has played all over the Baltimorean secondary, and is a guy we would still use in subpackages. His ideal position would be Nickle CB, so he allows us to incorporate Dime if we can find good enough safety. Boykin as your Nickle slot, and Graham as your dime slot is pretty damn solid…but if injuries pile up, you can ask Corey to play anywhere in the secondary. 2years 3mil is better then paying Chung 3.5 to be a ST ACE, who we never want on the field..Corey ATleast can make some plays in subpackages…
            ..
            As for CB, if you are 6’2’212lbs and run a 4.4, I automatically wanna take a flier on you and see what our coaches can turn you into..why not? To keep Marsh? Lol

          • cliff henny

            that’s fine, it nominal savings. if Byrd comes to Philly, pretty sure Chung isn’t getting cut, since he’ll of helped. cant see Howie telling Byrd ‘hey, on your way to the car, can you hold the door for chung ,his hands will be full from clearing out his locker’

          • GEAGLE

            Lol agreed..lbut boy would that be epically awesome. But if NNamdi didn’t get that type of treatment, no one will

          • anon

            Honestly i thought Chung looked so promising playing in the box in pre-season. Run stopping. Then he had to play deep and got injured — he was terrible, but for a minute i thought he was ok. Him and DJ2 must have been playing x-box together.

          • NickS1

            The answer is the cheaper of the two.

        • anon

          Doubt Chris Cook would look any better than Roc — i wouldn’t come here if i needed a DB coach…

  • Alberto23

    we all knew avant was going to get released, whether he comes back thats another story. Now that byrd said what he said on SC, it will be interesting to see what rumors come out about byrd and the eagles.

  • Alberto23

    something else to look into, I have yet to hear or read anywhere that Byrd wants to be paid as the top safety in the league, when you think about what eric berry and gholston are making, if Byrd would take 8 – 8 1/2, i can see the eagles going after him then also drafting a safety in the first rd.

  • GEAGLE

    The stars will never align so well as they have now

  • GEAGLE

    Howie made comments a few weeks ago that I interpreted as talking about Jarius Byrd, but wondered if he would actually make it to the open market…don’t see what other special player he could have been talking about..the special player is yours for the taking howie

    • oreofestar

      maybe Ward who knows at this point if we do not get one I would be utterly disappointed

    • Token

      Lawlor watched some more Byrd, wrote down his opinion.

      http://igglesblitz.com/2014/03/byrd-hunting-2/

      Nothing we didnt know already. Great deep safety. Can be left alone in centerfield. Average tackler. I was interested to see that he thinks Byrd is a willing hitter, just doesnt drive thru his target. Thats coachable, tho at 28 I doubt its fixable.

      As Ive said, I dont care what kind of hitter he is. Coverage is far and away more important. Not even close in my book. He makes QBs second guess a throw. That could be the difference between a sack and a hurry.

      • Token

        nm

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, I don’t really care about a guy that can deliver slobberknocker hits, Byrd is a sure tackler, and a good technician. Missed 1 less tackle in the last 3 years than Malcolm Jenkins missed…last season. You can find any number of vets to come in and deliver big hits to set the tone for the D, it’s not a unique skill.

  • Eagles4Life

    Sign Byrd, draft Buchanon. Done.

  • morgan c

    Honestly, we should just go get this guy. I understand Howie being a little gun-shy, and I actually think his new approach to free agency (in the wake of the Dream Team fiasco) is the right one. But so long as this is the only huge dude we sign, we have the room and flexibility to do it. Even if it doesn’t work out, we won’t be hamstrung like we were when we signed 6 FAs in that fateful summer. Just sign the dude. We can still keep our overall philosophy in tact re: not selling out for FAs. One big guy won’t make or break. Just get it done. And flip picks for Jordan and unload someone they want who doesn’t start (Graham, Curry?).

    • GEAGLE

      An under rated aspect of the dream team debacle was that we had players who were expecting to get paid that watched us bring in like 6 name guys instead and paid them well. This time, Howie took care of everyone that’s eligible for an extensio. We would be paying for a big player, and adding him to a happy locker room with good leadership,as opposed to a jealous locker like Assante, which gave us no shot to suceed
      ..
      All the stars have aligned, and if Howie wants to talk about arranged marriages, doubt he will have too many chances to add quality free agents who 3 of our coaches know…but I, starting to think we may want Ward more

      • cliff henny

        the problem has been solved at the core, drafting better.

      • peteike

        your favorite story has strange twists, new update on guy who left combine because God told him to

        http://deadspin.com/awol-nfl-prospect-believes-hes-fulfilling-internet-mes-1536138962

        • http://batman-news.com theedevilsadvocate

          omg that story is nuts! and god isn’t really God its some dude that thinks he is God… and people follow this guy on youtube! nucking futs man nucking futs…

          • Michael

            “it’s some dude that thinks he is God,”

            Ie: Joseph Smith

        • GEAGLE

          OMG…does this kid realize he is turning himself into an undraftable maniac? Who the hell is going to sign this wacko when he goes Undrafted? Wtf someone shut this dude up before he,further destroys any chance of a career

          • peteike

            probably too late for that now. One look at that twitter feed and no GM is going near this guy.

    • cliff henny

      boy, that Dream Team tag is never going to die, is it? worst part is it was tagged by a POS backup, who probably meant it more about his delusional self than anything. F U VY! glad you are bankrupt. it was1 bad signing and the whole NFL was jealous and would have given him exact same contract if they could.

      • anon

        I don’t understand how people blame VY for that — he was just excited about the people here and the possibility of winning a chip, just like everyone else. The fault in that debacle really goes to the coaching — terrible, no wonder guys didn’t want to play.

        That said, i like VY i just remember him beating the Giants that one time — TD pass to Riley Cooper. Probably the best part of that year.

        • cliff henny

          he did say it. nothing worse than when backups run their mouths. but true, PAAA-LENTY of blame to go around…but if VY did say it, and BSPN play it on semi-permanent loop for 6 months, been a good start.
          .
          yeah, I liked VY too in Tenn, just felt like channeling my inner media mike

      • Scott Emerick

        “11-12″ was a nightmare, so that goofy back up got it kinda right. Guess it just sounds cooler that way.

  • http://batman-news.com theedevilsadvocate

    well to damn bad we cant have both the hard hitting run stopping ward and ball hawk byrd. life would be great then…

    • NickS1

      If you want to get technical… we COULD. Just won’t.

  • GEAGLE

    Where’s Adam???l
    ..
    “I want to go to a team on the rise where I fit as a missing piece that gets them over the top, if I do what I’m supposed to do on the field, the money takes,care of itself.”-Jarius Byrds most recent ESPN interview, the entirety is about to air on ESPN at 4pm

    • oreofestar

      dang I missed it I will see if I can watch it online

  • Dave w

    Byrd or ward are coming to my eagles it makes to much sense.

  • Maggie

    Worilds. $9.75 for 1 year.

  • Faegone

    Eagles fan always want to spend big money in free agency . How about you draft your OWN talent. Havent yall learn by now “dream team” “asogumaghu”

  • Faegone

    Stop fucking begging