New Orleans Saints star free safety Jairus Byrd should have a big season with his new team, and the Saints secondary could be one of the best in the league with Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro forming an elite safety duo behind cornerbacks Keenan Lewis, Champ Bailey, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste. That’s not even factoring in Rob Ryan as the defensive coordinator, the defensive end duo of Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan, and the pass rushing skills of Junior Galette and Victor Butler off of the edge. Byrd is going to be the lynchpin of the defense with his ball skills, instincts, sure-handed tackling, and deep coverage.
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Triplett, Saints head coach Sean Payton stated that the team placed Byrd on the active/PUP list before training camp as a precaution, but he’s expected to receive medical clearance soon. Byrd’s recovery from a back injury has been ahead of schedule to this point, and Payton stated that the Saints don’t want to risk anything and are going to wait until they are absolutely sure he is 100% before activating him for camp.
Being cautious is always the best policy, even if it’s just a minor, nagging injury. The Saints are paying Byrd a lot of money, because he has a chance to be a huge difference-maker that takes the Saints defense from “promising” to “great”, along with a couple of other solid additions (or returns, in the case of Butler) to the Saints defense. He’ll be good-to-go in no time, and his over/under for interceptions should be set at five.