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'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 lost his starting gig in Week 3 to rookie Vonn Bell, but the veteran safety has quietly amassed 60 tackles this year, tied for third-most on the team, as the
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's averaging less than five tackles per game and has yet to force a turnover or record a sack this season.
Though healthy for the start of camp, Byrd did miss the entirety of the Saints' offseason program rehabbing the knee injury that has plagued him since inking a six-year, $54 million deal ahead of the 2014 season. Hopefully, for the Saints, Byrd's 2016 training camp presence will smoothly translate to an improved performance in the upcoming campaign for a New Orleans secondary that allowed the 31st-most passing yards in the NFL during 2015.
|2014||New Orleans Saints||4||22||17.0||5||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||13||53||37.0||16||1||1||24||24.0||24||0||3|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||82||56.0||26||0||2||35||17.5||24||0||3|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||4||0||5||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||13||1||5||1||1.0||1||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||1||9||2||2.0||2||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||13||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|