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Saints sign safety Jairus Byrd to six-year deal

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jairus Byrd.
Jairus Byrd is heading to New Orleans. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

The Saints weren't supposed to have any money and Jairus Byrd -- our top available free agent -- wanted a lot of money. So it's pretty, pretty, pret-tah surprising that the two came together on a six-year contract.

But that's what happened late on Tuesday, with the team announcing the deal after we learned that Byrd was taking a visit to the Bayou.

The structure of this contract should be fascinating to see, given that the Saints came into free agency only $2.4 million under the salary cap and needing to pay Jimmy Graham. (I'm sure he's just thrilled that they're handing out contracts!)

New Orleans still has room to move -- Darren Sproles is reportedly getting dealt, even if he doesn't know it -- but there's just not a lot of space there. It's what makes the move particularly impressive.

From a strict football perspective, this is awesome news for the Saints. Kenny Vaccaro and Byrd as a safety combination is going to be ridiculous. They'll thump people across the middle and should generate plenty of turnovers in Rob Ryan's defense.

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