Byrd will be released by the Saints at the start of free agency, NFL Network's Ian Rapaport reports. Despite his production on the field, Byrd's price tag ultimately became too big of a burden for the Saints. The eight-year vet was slated to earn $7.9 million this year and $22.9 million over the next three years. Byrd tallied 82 tackles in 2016, but with the emergence of Von Bell in the secondary, New Orleans decided to part ways with the 30-year-old sooner rather than later.
Byrd had 82 tackles (56 solo) and two interceptions in 16 games in 2016. Byrd's third season in New Orleans was by far his most productive, however, the eight-year veteran was actually demoted from the starting lineup early in the season in favor of rookie free safety Vonn Bell. Nevertheless, Byrd still finished third on the team in tackles, as he saw substantial playing time in three-safety and nickel packages. Despite his improved production, Byrd is due over $11 million in 2017 and he could be a salary-cap casualty this offseason if he is unwilling to accept a pay cut to stay in New Orleans.
Byrd notched nine tackles (seven solo) in Sunday's loss to the Lions. Byrd lost his starting gig in Week 3 to rookie Vonn Bell, but veteran safety has quietly amassed 60 tackles this year, tied for third-most on the team, as the Saints frequently deploy a three-safety lineup. Byrd is still prone to inconsistent play and he has yet to record a sack or turnover this year, but he's at least an option for desperate fantasy owners in IDP leagues.
Byrd made ten tackles (eight solo) in Sunday win against the Seahawks. Byrd was actually replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Vonn Bell a few games ago, but he continues to see substantial playing time in three-safety and nickel packages. Still, Byrd is not a recommended option in IDP leagues, as he is averaging less than five tackles per game and has yet to force a turnover or record a sack this season.
Byrd made seven tackles (four solo) and had an interception in Sunday's loss to the Texans. Remarkably, the interception was Byrd's first in two injury-plagued seasons in New Orleans. Byrd has also recently picked up his game in other areas, making a combined 22 tackles (15 solo) in his last three games. Keep in mind that strong safety Kenny Vaccaro primarily plays near the line of scrimmage, while Byrd plays much deeper at free safety, but Byrd is slowly becoming an option in deeper IDP leagues.