Buffalo Bills impending free agent free safety Jairus Byrd is arguably the best impending free agent this offseason, and he could very well earn more money than Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. Not only is Byrd a premier free safety in this league, but there’s a high demand for coverage safeties in this league and not many competing free agents around. Byrd has always wanted to leave the Bills organization, and it’s clear that the 27-year-old Oregon product’s big goal is to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety. It would likely cost at least $9 million per year in order to sign him, and I’m sure he’ll get that kind of money due to the likely bidding war set to happen.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Redskins have interest in Byrd, and the Dolphins interest is new. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, though, since current starting free safety Chris Clemons has not been viewed as a priority. Although he is a solid starter, the Dolphins seem to want a bigger playmaker at the position, which is interesting considering how much they paid to extend Reshad Jones last offseason after his huge 2012 campaign. Byrd, Jones, and Brent Grimes would give the Dolphins one of the league’s most fearsome secondaries, and they also have a DE duo of Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon. It’s going to be a busy offseason for the Dolphins, as they will most likely sign left tackle Branden Albert and are looking for defensive tackles to replace impending free agent veterans Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, who formed a solid duo for quite some time.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns are arguably the front-runners to land Byrd, especially with no reported interest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Byrd yet. T.J. Ward will likely leave in free agency, so the Browns have room for an elite starting safety at FS. The Redskins have massive needs on defense, but their biggest needs are in the secondary. If they can afford him, then Byrd would be a dream get.