There are plenty of reasons to be stoked about the 2014 NFL season for New Orleans Saints fans, and the biggest one hasn’t even seen the field yet.
In May the Saints signed free agent Jairus Byrd to a massive long-term contract which made him the highest paid safety in the NFL. Earl Thomas of the Seahawks later signed a larger deal which pays him more annually, but the total value of Byrd’s contract is worth $14 million more.
That’s an enormous investment and proof that the Saints believe Byrd is at least as good at his position as anybody else. But they’ve had to wait to see it pay off. The same month that the Saints signed him Byrd underwent back surgery. Byrd considered delaying the procedure but decided to take care of it now rather than have it bothering him during the season.
It appears that he made the right choice, because according to Mike Triplett of ESPN, Byrd’s recovery is going well and on schedule:
“New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd‘s recovery from back surgery has gone as expected this summer, according to a league source. Byrd is expected to be healthy enough to participate in training camp, though it’s unknown if he will be limited when the Saints begin practicing Friday at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia…”
Byrd did not participate in OTAs or minicamp, but the Saints have no reason to rush him back when they have so much tied up in Byrd’s health. If he plays at the same level he did in Buffalo Byrd will make the New Orleans secondary one of the top five in the league.