My honest take on Buffalo Bills and their situation with Jairus Byrd
I have been talking about Jairus Byrd for quite some time now because I am a big Buffalo Bills fan, but at the end of the day it is simple, he is a very good football player but I feel he is not worth the type of money he is demanding. I personally have heard that the Buffalo Bills have done everything they could to try to keep Jairus Byrd in Buffalo, but at this point, he is not having it.
As I reported earlier, Jairus Byrd has declined the Bills latest offer which would give him at least 10 million per season for the first three years. I am hearing it was a five year deal and would have made Byrd the highest paying safety in the NFL.
I wanted to first say my personal take on Jairus Byrd and the Buffalo Bills. Last year the Buffalo Bills fans were very upset with the team when the team let Andy Levitre leave via free agency. Andy Levitre was a very solid player in Buffalo and one of the most reliable players on the offensive line, and the team honestly never really replaced him or found his replacement, BUT when you watched the Bills this year did you notice Levitre missing? While it is still a very pressing need in Buffalo, the team was able to get by and still have a pretty productive rushing offense. So with that being said….
I am not trying to justify the Buffalo Bills or the way they handled the Jairus Byrd situation last year, but I can say what I know about the NFL. If an NFL team cannot get a player signed within the time the league has it’s allowed to negotiate, there is only one thing the team can do, and that is place a Franchise Tag on the player, which pays the player like a top 5 player at his position. Last year the Buffalo Bills reached out to Jairus Byrd and his agent Eugene Parker numerous times, and presented from what I have heard very solid offers to the Pro Bowl safety, but each time he declined the offer.
When the season began the team was without Jairus Byrd for the first 5 games of the year. The team remained open to re-sign Byrd the entire time and made numerous attempts to get a deal done and get their pro bowl safety back in camp. Byrd would eventually sit out five weeks in 2013 after MILKING, yes I went there and said the truth, Milking an injury (turf toe) and the Bills were forced to play with out him.
Well in those first games WITHOUT Jairus Byrd, it is important to name the team they faced as well as the statistics the top 10 defense faced because to be honest with you the team looked like a better team in my opinion without the Pro Bowler.
|New England||273 passing yards||1 Int.||2 TD’s||3 Sacks||23 Points|
|Carolina||183 passing yards||1 Int.||2 TD’s||6 Sacks||23 Points|
|New York||331 passing yards||2 Int.||2 TD’s||0 Sacks||27 Points|
|Baltimore||321 passing yards||5 Int.||2 TD’s||4 Sacks||20 Points|
|Cleveland||199 passing yards||1 Int.||1 TD||5 Sacks||37 Points|
|TOTAL –||1307 passing yards||10 Int.||9 TD’s||18 Sacks||130 Points|
|Cincy||318 passing yards||1 Int.||3 TD’s||3 Sacks||27 Points|
|Miami||173||2 Int.||3 TD’s||2 Sacks||21 Points|
|N.O.||386||0 Int.||5 TD’s||4 Sacks||35 Points|
|TOTAL||2272 passing yards||14 Int.||19 TD’s||39 Sacks||258 Points|
So there are the statistics with Byrd and without him. So what do these statistics mean? Well let me tell you what it means. In the first five games the Buffalo Bills were without their star safety but somehow managed to pull off more interceptions without him averaging 2 interceptions a game, compared to 1.27 when Byrd is playing. Buffalo’s defense also was able to get 3.6 sacks per game compared to 3.5 with Byrd there, I know that has nothing to do with Byrd, but when you are applying pressure on the quarterback it honestly will help the corners and safeties get their hands on wild throws (i.e. when a qb gets hit). The performance did decrease without Byrd in a few areas though, one of those areas were yards per game. With Byrd the team only allowed 207 yards passing threw the air, but without him the team allowed 261 yards. They also allowed three more points a game without Byrd. With Byrd the team finished allowing 1.72 touchdowns a game while without him they allowed 1.8 a game. Those numbers are not that much, and if I am an analytics guy I have to look at numbers.
The numbers I see are 10 million dollars for a player that does not make my team amazingly better. To be honest, he assisted in some of those numbers, but he didn’t change the game everytime he stepped on the field. I have been getting criticized deeply because I said they need to let him leave if he feels he is worth more than 10 million a season, because to me he is not. Buffalo can upgrade the position with a free agent and put up better numbers right now then when they had Byrd on the field. If you take into account that Stephon Gilmore did not touch the field until the Cincinnati game as well the team really did not do that great. Especially, with those that remember the Justin Rogers fiasco against the Jets. Let’s not forget either that the Buffalo Bills were without Leodis McKelvin their number 2 corner against the Ravens when the team had 5 interceptions. The reason I am putting this up is not to make excuses but rather let you know that people can be replaced.
While it would have been nice to keep Byrd in town, he is not a person that is going to make or break a game. That is why I did this work. The fans needed to see that the difference is not that big of a deal. The Bills could bring in a free agent like Antoine Bethea who is a proven safety and probably have a better season this year than they did with Byrd. One of my twitter followers said it best, any man can be replaced, just ask Joe Montana. That is a true fact, and as a die hard Bills fan, if Jairus Byrd does not want to be in Buffalo, then LEAVE. I would rather take an undrafted free agent that wants to be in my city that a player who cried and milked an injury when he didn’t get what he wanted. This is my opinion and I know many will kill me for it, but we are all entitled to them…..