NFL CAREER – Byrd is a sixth-year safety from Oregon, who New Orleans signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Buffalo Bills at the start of the offseason, and is expected to make an impact in the Saints secondary. A second round draft pick by Buffalo (42nd overall) out of Oregon in 2009, Byrd became a starter at free safety as a rookie in week four and made an immediate impact, as he was named as a consensus All-Rookie selection, tying for the NFL lead with a club rookie-record nine interceptions. He was the fourth Buffalo rookie selected to the Pro Bowl. In that standout rookie campaign, Byrd became the first player since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to record three consecutive multi-interception games. The San Diego native has been selected to a total of three Pro Bowls and has appeared in 73 games with 66 starts overall. Byrd has posted career totals of 352 tackles (256 solo), three sacks, 22 picks, 33 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. His interception total since 2009 is ranked second in the NFL. In 2013, Byrd appeared in 11 games with nine starts and finished the season with 48 tackles (37 solo), one sack, four interceptions, tied for the team lead and fourth in the AFC, six passes defensed and one forced fumble. He shook off a foot injury that sidelined him for the season’s first five games to be selected to his third Pro Bowl and be named an Associated Press second-team All-Pro.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms with Saints on a six-year contract (UFA-BUF), 3/11/14; Re-signed by Buffalo Bills to one-year contract as Franchise Player, 8/20/13; Designated by Franchise Player by Buffalo, 3/1/13; Placed on Injured Reserve by Bills, 12/23/09; Signed by Bills to a four-year contract, 7/29/09; Selected by Buffalo in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
HONORS – 2013: Pro Bowl; Associated Press second-team All-Pro; 2012: Pro Bowl; NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week Six); GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week (Week 12); 2010: Bills Ed Block Courage Award Winner; Sporting News Top 25 Under 25; 2009: Pro Bowl; NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month (October); All-Rookie (Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America, Sporting News, Football Outsiders, Dallas Morning News).
2013 – Played in 11 games with nine starts after missing the first five games with a foot injury. Finished the season with 48 tackles and four interceptions and was named to his third Pro Bowl…Inactive for first five games with a foot injury…Made his first start of the year at New Orleans, Oct. 27, and produced three tackles and a pass defensed…Totaled four tackles vs. Kansas City, Nov. 3, as the defense yielded 115 passing yards…Posted his first interception of the season which led to a Bills FG at Pittsburgh, Nov. 10…Became the first Bill ever and one player in week 11 to produce two interceptions and a sack vs. N.Y. Jets, Nov. 17. Helped pass defense yield a season-low 12 completions and added four tackles, including one stop for a loss, a quarterback hit and two passes defensed…Totaled a season-high nine tackles vs. Atlanta, Dec. 1…Recorded his fourth interception of the season and 22nd of his career, also adding four tackles at Tampa Bay, Dec. 8…Totaled six tackles at Jacksonville, Dec. 15…Recorded two tackles as pass defense yielded a season-low 89 passing yards vs. Miami, Dec. 22. 2012 – Started all 16 games for Bills. Led team with five interceptions, recording 76 tackles (53 solo), four forced fumbles and six pass deflections. Selected to Pro Bowl…Posted five tackles at N.Y. Jets, Sept. 9…Recorded his first interception of the season and tied for a team-high seven tackles vs. Kansas City, Sept. 16…Posted three tackles, including one stop for a loss at Cleveland, Sept. 23…Forced two fumbles and had one fumble recovery with the first FF/FR being converted into a TD on the ensuing possession vs. New England, Sept. 30…Totaled three defensive stops (one solo) at San Francisco, Oct. 7…Posted two interceptions and helped seal the victory with his interception/return in overtime that set the offense up at the Cardinals six-yard line at Arizona, Oct. 14. Rian Lindell kicked the game-winning field goal on the ensuing possession. Added four tackles, a stop for loss and two passes defensed…Posted six tackles and a forced fumble vs. Tennessee, Oct. 21…Made five tackles at Houston, Nov. 4…Totaled four tackles at New England, Nov. 11…Halted a Miami drive in the fourth quarter with his fourth interception of the season vs. Miami, Nov. 15. Also had a fumble recovery in the first quarter…Tied for the team-lead with six tackles including one stop for a loss at Indianapolis, Nov. 25…Posted his first interception of the season to halt Jacksonville’s final drive vs. the Jaguars, Dec. 2…Totaled four tackles and a forced fumble at Miami, Dec. 23. Four forced fumbles on the season were the most by a Bill since Aaron Schobel (5) in 2007. 2011 – Started all 16 games and recorded 98 tackles (75 solo), one sack, three interceptions, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery…Posted five tackles, including one stop for a loss and helped defense hold Kansas City to 119 passing yards at Chiefs, Sept. 11…Led defensive backs with 10 tackles vs. Oakland, Sept. 18…Posted a game-high and career-high 12 tackles and added two passes defensed vs. New England, Sept. 25…Forced a fumble and recovered the ball from Jason Avant in the third quarter, while adding eight tackles including one for a loss vs. Philadelphia, Oct. 9…Posted four tackles at N.Y. Giants, Oct. 16…Registered his first interception and sack of the season vs. Washington, Oct. 30, adding four tackles…Recorded his second interception of the season and added six tackles vs. N.Y. Jets, Nov. 6…Tied for a game-high eight tackles and posted a forced fumble at Dallas, Nov. 13…Led defensive backs with nine tackles including one stop for loss vs. Tennessee, Dec. 4…Scored on a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, adding seven tackles and one pass defensed vs. Denver, Dec. 24, as the Bills held Tim Tebow to a 35.4 passer rating. 2010 – Appeared in 16 games with 14 starts for Bills…Recorded 88 tackles (61 solo), four pass defenses, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception…Posted seven tackles and also recorded his first career fumble recovery, which resulted in a touchdown, the team’s first turnover of the season at New England, Sept. 26…Posted 10 tackles vs. Chicago, Nov. 7…Produced 11 tackles and a forced fumble and fumble recovery that led to a Buffalo FG and tied game at 13 in 4th quarter vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 28…Forced a career-high two fumbles and added eight tackles vs. Cleveland, Dec. 12…Recorded his first sack of his NFL career and added four solo tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit at Miami, Dec. 19. 2009 – Appeared in 14 games with 11 starts as a rookie and finished with 42 tackles (30 solo), nine interceptions to tie for the NFL lead and 11 passes defensed. Was the third Bills rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl…Made his first career NFL start as the team’s fifth defensive back vs. New Orleans, Sept. 27, and totaled five tackles…Made first career start at free safety at Miami, Oct. 4, and made three solo tackles and one pass defensed…Posted his first career interception and led Bills defensive backs with seven tackles vs. Cleveland, Oct. 11…Posted his first multi-interception game (two) at N.Y. Jets, Oct. 18. Second interception led to Buffalo’s game-tying touchdown in the third quarter. Became the first Bills rookie with interceptions in consecutive games since Nate Clements in 2001 (games 14-15). Also became the first Bills rookie with three picks in a season since Clements in 2001…Recorded two interceptions which led to both Buffalo touchdowns at Carolina, Oct. 25. Became the fifth Buffalo Bill to post multiple interceptions in consecutive weeks and first since Kurt Schulz in 1996 (2 vs. Cin., 11/17/96; 2 vs. N.Y.J, 11/24/96). The first NFL rookie to post two-plus interceptions in consecutive games since Everson Walls (Dallas) in 1981. Also became the first NFL rookie with five interceptions in a calendar month since Mark Carrier (Chicago) in 1990…Totaled two interceptions and five tackles vs. Houston, Nov. 1. Became first rookie and second NFL player to have three consecutive multi-INT games (joining Dave Baker (SF) 1960, games 8-10). Became the fourth Bill with three multi-INT games in one season: Archie Matsos (4-1960), Billy Atkins (4-1961) and Tom Janik (3-1966)…Recorded an interception for the fifth consecutive game, setting a new Buffalo Bills team record at Tennessee, Nov. 15. Became the second NFL player since 1970 to record an interception in five consecutive games in his first NFL season (Kansas City’s Eric Harris, 1980)…Posted his ninth interception of the season and set the team’s rookie interception record at Kansas City, Dec. 13…Placed on injured reserve, Dec. 23.
COLLEGE – Byrd started each of his final 37 contests during a 39-game career at left cornerback, recording 203 tackles (143 solo) with six stops for losses of 17 yards, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Deflected 53 passes, leaving school ranking fourth in school history…Gained 113 yards on 17 interception returns (6.6 avg.), as he departed Oregon with his pick total tied for second on the school career-record list…Political science major.
PERSONAL – Prepped at Clayton (Mo.) HS where he was named the state 4A Offensive Player of the Year in leading the Greyhounds to the 2004 state championship, playing quarterback, safety, wide receiver and on special teams…Ranked fourth in the state in scoring (158 points), rushing for 1,480 yards (7th in state) while averaging 8.76 yards per carry and scoring 26 touchdowns…In addition, he passed for another 1,038 yards (65-128) and 13 scores...Also was afforded first-team all-state accolades on defense as his team’s second-leading tackler and posted 71 stops (60 unassisted) along with seven interceptions (5th in the state), three quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries...Completed the package with six catches for 125 yards (20.8 avg.), 10 kickoff returns (30.1 avg.), 15 returned punts (13.3 avg.) in addition to punting the football 18 times for a 37.6-yard clip…Son of Marilyn and Gill Byrd, Sr…Father was a 1983 first-round draft pick out of San Jose State and a two-time Pro Bowl selection while playing cornerback for the San Diego Chargers (1983-92)…Gill Sr. went on to join the coaching ranks serving as the secondary coach for the St. Louis Rams (2003-05) before joining the Chicago Bears as a defensive quality control coach for seven years in 2006. He is currently the cornerbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…Jairus’ older brother, Gill, Jr. was a defensive back at New Mexico State (2004-06)…Participated in numerous community initiatives as a member of the Bills and is excited to do the same in New Orleans…Born Jairus Keelon Byrd in San Diego, Calif.
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New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd visited Harahan Elementary as part of the Rotolo’s Literacy Program Visit series on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd speaks with media members at Harahan Elementary after visiting with students as part of the Rotolo’s Literacy Program Visit series on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (New Orleans Saints video)
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton talks about safety Jairus Byrd at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (New Orleans Saints video)