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Jairus Byrd

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Byrd with the Bills in 2009
No. 31 New Orleans Saints
Position: Free safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-10-07) October 7, 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
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Career information
High school: Clayton (MO)
College: Oregon
NFL draft: 2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics as of 2014
Tackles: 378
Quarterback sacks: 3.0
Interceptions: 22
Forced fumbles: 12
Touchdowns: 2
Stats at

Jairus Keelon Byrd (born October 7, 1986) is an American football free safety for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Oregon. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

Early years

Byrd attended Clayton High School in St. Louis County, Missouri. He played quarterback, wide receiver, safety and special teams. As a senior he was the Missouri 4A offensive player of the year and played a large role in leading the school to the 2004 state championship. As a senior he rushed for 1,480 yards with 26 touchdowns, passed for 1,038 yards with 13 touchdowns, and made six receptions for 125 yards on offense. On defense he had 71 tackles, seven interceptions, three quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries. He also had 10 kickoff returns, 15 punt returns, and 18 punts. He also lettered in basketball and track.

College career

Byrd enrolled in the University of Oregon, where he played for the Oregon Ducks football team. As a freshman in 2005, Byrd was red-shirted. In 2006 Byrd was a freshman All-American second-team selection by The Sporting News and was the Pac-10 co-freshman player of the year (alongside Taylor Mays and Alterraun Verner). He started the last 11 games at cornerback, recording 56 tackles and five interceptions.

As a sophomore in 2007 Byrd was an All-Pac 10 conference honorable mention. He started all 13 games for the Ducks, recording 64 tackles, a sack, and a conference leading seven interceptions. As a junior in 2008 he was an all-Pac 10 first-team selection and was the defensive MVP of the 2008 Holiday Bowl. He started 13 games and finished with 83 tackles and five interceptions.

Byrd finished his college career starting 37 of 39 games, with 203 tackles, 17 interceptions, a sack, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

After the season Byrd announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2009 NFL Draft.[1]

Professional career


<td colspan="20" align="center">All values from Oregon Pro Day, except Ht and Wonderlic (NFL Combine)</td>
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP<th>Wonderlic</th>
5 ft 10⅛ in 207 lb 4.60 s 1.53 s 2.68 s 4.10 s 6.75 s 35 in 22 reps<td align="center">15</td>

Buffalo Bills

Byrd was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. After spending the first couple of games as a backup Byrd started his first career game at free safety against the Miami Dolphins due to injuries to both the Bills starting safeties Donte Whitner and Bryan Scott.[2] He finished the game with three tackles. In his second start the next week Byrd recorded his first career interception off of Derek Anderson of the Cleveland Browns. Starting for the third straight week Byrd recorded two more interceptions off of Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets bringing his total to three.[3] The next week against the Carolina Panthers Byrd had his second straight game of two interceptions, both of them coming off of Jake Delhomme, bringing his total to five.[4] For his play, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October.[5]

In week 8 against the Houston Texans, Byrd recorded two interceptions for the third consecutive week, bringing his total to seven. This tied an NFL record held by Dave Baker for consecutive games with two or more interceptions with three.[6] After the Bills bye week Byrd intercepted his eighth pass of the season off of Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans. This was his fifth straight game with an interception, setting the team record for consecutive games with an interception.[7] He intercepted his ninth pass of the season off of Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs.

On December 23, 2009, Byrd was placed on season ending injured reserve.[8] He finished the season starting 11 of 14 games, recording 45 tackles and nine interceptions. The nine interceptions were tied for the league lead and was five more than any other rookie had.[9][10] For his play, he was selected to play in the Pro Bowl, becoming the first Bills rookie to be selected to play in a Pro Bowl since Greg Bell in 1984.[11] However, he was unable to play and was replaced by Brandon Meriweather. He was also a member of the Sporting News all-rookie team.[12]

On March 1, 2013, the Bills placed their franchise tag on Byrd after he was originally designated to become a free agent after the 2012 season.[13] On August 20, 2013, Byrd signed his $6.9 million franchise tender.[14] Despite signing the tender, reports were released that he wanted the Bills to trade him.[15]

New Orleans Saints

On March 11, 2014, Byrd agreed to a six-year, $56 million contract including $28 million guaranteed with the New Orleans Saints.[16] Byrd played in the Saints' first 4 games of the 2014 season, but then suffered a torn lateral meniscus knee ligament during practice on October 2, 2014; the following day, the team announced Byrd would be placed on season-ending injured reserve.[17]

NFL stats

2009 BUF 14 45 33 12 0.0 0 0 0 9 118 13 37 0 11
2010 BUF 16 89 62 27 1.0 3 2 0 1 37 37 37 1 2
2011 BUF 16 98 75 23 1.0 3 1 0 3 88 29 37 1 8
2012 BUF 16 76 53 23 0.0 4 2 0 5 81 16 45 0 6
2013 BUF 11 48 37 11 1.0 1 0 0 4 85 21 57 0 6
2014 NO 4 22 17 5 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Career 77 378 277 101 3.0 12 5 0 22 409 19 57 2 35


  • GP: games played
  • COMB: combined tackles
  • TOTAL: total tackles
  • AST: assisted tackles
  • SACK: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • FR YDS: fumble return yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • IR YDS: interception return yards
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • LNG: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed


His father, Gill Byrd, played in the National Football League from 1983 to 1992, and is currently the cornerbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[19]

Byrd is a Christian.[20] Byrd sponsors two children through Compassion International.[21]


External links