Saints pull off late night free agency shocker

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The New Orleans Saints pulled off a late night shocker, making a huge splash in the free agency circus that started Tuesday.

Shortly after it was reported that safety Malcolm Jenkins had signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, news came out that Jairus Byrd was flying to New Orleans to talk to the Saints brass. Soon after, the team signed Byrd to a reported six year contract worth $54 million that includes $28 million guaranteed.

"We had hoped for the opportunity to pursue Jairus Byrd," said general manager Mickey Loomis. "After meeting with him, we are excited that he will become a member of the New Orleans Saints. We think that his playmaking abilities will be an excellent fit with what we are trying to accomplish with our defense and in our secondary."

Byrd played his college ball at Oregon before being picked in the second round of the 2009 draft by Buffalo.

In his five years with the Bills, the three time All-Pro safety had 352 tackles (256 solo), three sacks, 22 interceptions, 33 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

"I first want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization and the great fans of Buffalo for their support during my time there. I think there are great things to come here in New Orleans and I'm excited to join this team," said Byrd.

"We played against the Saints this year and I saw their style of play and was impressed by it. I think I will fit well in the scheme. This is a great opportunity to join a championship organization. I look forward to meeting my new teammates and being part of a great Saints defense."

Byrd will join Kenny Vaccaro in the Saints defensive backfield, replacing longtime starters Roman Harper and Jenkins.

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