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Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; We all know the NFL has become a passing league. Quarterbacks are rewriting the record books seemingly every year, leading receivers are gaining more yards than leading rushers and the average points per game has gone up. There are a ...

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Old 03-14-2014, 06:26 PM   #1
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We all know the NFL has become a passing league. Quarterbacks are rewriting the record books seemingly every year, leading receivers are gaining more yards than leading rushers and the average points per game has gone up. There are a variety of reasons behind this shift, mainly the rule changes to limit contact by defensive backs, but one thing is certain, the pass happy NFL is here to stay.

This significant change in how offenses operate has forced defenses to adapt. For years the best defenses featured a bruising middle linebacker like Dick Buckus, Mike Singletary or Ray Lewis. Fast forward to 2013 and the most dominate defense since Ray Lewis’ 2000 Ravens featured quality but certainly not elite linebackers. Instead, the Seattle Seahawks had three elite defensive backs, two of which were safeties.

The first few days of the NFL’s free agency period has shown how the NFL now values defensive backs more than ever before. In particular the safeties position, which has long been one of the lowest position in terms of average salaries, had five players sign $20 million dollar contracts or greater.

The biggest of the $1.3 billion in contracts given out so far has been the 6 year $56 million dollar deal the Saints gave Jairus Byrd. Which also happened to be the largest contract ever given to a safety. This huge investment by a cap strapped team like the Saints shows just how valuable safeties have become in today’s NFL.

For the Saints the safety position, especially a true free safety like Byrd, was imperative given Rob Ryan’s hyper aggressive defensive scheme.



Whether it’s an all out blitz, Man 1 or Cover 3, Rob Ryan loves playing with a single high safety. The pro to the Ryan family scheme is the ability to overload the box and pressure the offense across the line of scrimmage. The con is the single deep defender and the need for an elite single safety.

That is why Jairus Byrd is the perfect fit for the Saints. He has consistently shown the ability to play center field. Let’s look at how he robbed his new team of a sure touchdown with an excellent play from a lone safety look while playing for the Bills.

Read more: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward - NFL Spin Zone - A General NFL Blog providing you all the NFL News, Rumors, Updates, and National Football League News.

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Old 03-14-2014, 07:07 PM   #2
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

T.J. Ward is an in-the-box safety and not very good in coverage. Saints had one of them. They cut him.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:49 PM   #3
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

So we now have a safety who excels in coverage with great range in Byrd. A safety that can do well in any situation in Vaccaro and Bush brings the lumber on every tackle...
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:25 PM   #4
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

T.J. Ward is a strong safety... Jairus Byrd is a free safety. It's pretty obvious to me why Jairus got paid more. One produces turnovers, the other hits hard. You tell me what's more important.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

Originally Posted by ChrisXVI View Post
T.J. Ward is a strong safety... Jairus Byrd is a free safety. It's pretty obvious to me why Jairus got paid more. One produces turnovers, the other hits hard. You tell me what's more important.
Yep, apples to oranges. It's like comparing a FB to a RB. There are still a few teams that can use a traditional SS, but they're a dying breed.

TJ Ward is just a slightly better Roman Harper. Byrd is a younger Darren Shraper.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

Excellent analysis though. I agree, we got Sharper 2.0
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:34 PM   #7
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

Good read. Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:43 PM   #8
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

jairus read and react is so freaking unbelievable at times you swear he is stealing signs. just do not let a fast quick jitter bug get one on one with him. he very rarely gets beat but if i had point out the one thing to attack jairus is that. pats tried to get welker one on one against him all game long. Buffallo had some great CB so it was hard. that the void the saints need to address. sneaky quick speed at CB
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:14 AM   #9
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

Originally Posted by lumm0x View Post
Excellent analysis though. I agree, we got Sharper 2.0
With Sharpers latest shenanigans let just hope we didn't.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:05 AM   #10
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Re: Film Breakdown: Why Jairus Byrd Got Twice as Much Money as T.J Ward

With a single high protector of Byrd's quality and range we should never see prevent defense again and Rob Ryan can comfortably get more aggressive.

This is going to get very interesting.
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