Now that the Super Bowl is over, it’s officially the start of the off season and there’s always a ton of buzz surrounding the NFL free agency.
As the Seattle Seahawks have just shown, the best way to build a team is through the NFL draft, but, they also showed that a few key free agent signings and trades can be the difference between just winning playoff games and winning a Super Bowl. Cliff Avril and Percy Harvin are two names that come to mind.
The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the most talented rosters from top to bottom, and if they could add a few pieces via free agency, we could be talking about a legitimate championship caliber team next season. That’s why John Dorsey should have his sights set on free safety, Jairus Byrd.
Byrd is exactly what the Chiefs need on the back end of their defense. He can cover both sides of the field with tremendous speed, and has some of the best ball skills in the league.
He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 2nd round (42nd overall) in the 2009 draft and has already been named to three Pro Bowls. In his short career, Byrd has intercepted 22 passes, 9 of which came his rookie year, forced 11 fumbles and scored 2 touchdowns. Needless to say, he’s going to be on a lot of teams radars once free agency starts.
The Bills placed the franchise tag on him back in March of 2013, something that Byrd wasn’t too fond of. Even after he did sign his $6.9 million dollar tender, he spoke publicly about the Bills trading him.
It’s hard to say exactly what Byrd will be looking for as far as contract numbers go, but you would have to think it would be amongst the tops at his position which would be between $6-8 million per year.
The Chiefs are facing some cap issues and are going to have to let some key players walk. Guys like Quintin Demps and Husain Abdullah, both free agents, could possibly be offered starting contracts by other teams. Both of those players were playing on one-year veteran salaries any way, but their production to this team will be missed.
Branden Albert is certainly gone as well, freeing up even more cap space for the Chiefs to work with. Kansas City should be an attractive place to play for a player like Byrd considering they have all-pro talent at all three levels of the defense.
If the Chiefs can work the cap to land a free agent of his caliber, their pitch to Byrd should be that he’s the missing piece. He is the guy that can solidify the KC secondary. Imagine, Eric Berry, Jairus Byrd, Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith and Marcus Cooper all sharing the same defensive backfield. Sounds like a scary group to face.
The Chiefs got worked over the top, and underneath, towards the end of the season and Jairus Byrd could easily be the man to fill that void.
Some might argue that receiver is more of a need than secondary for the Chiefs. That may be true, but in the NFL today, you can never have enough “elite” caliber players on defense.
It’s not often a team loses one of the best players at his position when he’s entering the prime of his career, much like Detroit did with Cliff Avril, who signed with Seattle last year and stepped up big for them in the Super Bowl.
If the Kansas City Chiefs can find the cap space, Jairus Byrd should be the top free agent on their board.