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Mailbag: Why Not Shore Up Safety Spot With Bills’ Byrd?

Posted Mar 4, 2014


Shon Ross
San Beradino, Calif.

Would you consider shelling out some major cash to get Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd? This team hasn’t had quality safety help since Woodson left.

Nick: Honestly, I think I’d be for that. You’re right, this team just hasn’t figured out that position and they’ve tried multiple things. The one thing they haven’t really done in 12 years is get safety help in the first round. But with other needs up front, I don’t know if taking a safety back there is really going to help, considering the youngsters they already have with J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath. If you’re not going to get a veteran in here, then I’d let Wilcox learn and try to win the job. Ultimately, this team needs pass-rush help more than anything. Fix that, and I bet the entire secondary gets better overnight. But all that being said, Byrd would be a big help to this secondary because he can get the ball. He’s got 22 interceptions in five years. Woodson got 23 in his 12-year career. They don’t have a lot of room but this move seems like it’d be looking at.

Bryan: Whether you like it or not, this front office and coaching staff feels better about this current group of safeties, than most of us do. I don’t disagree that it would be nice to add a player of the talent level of Jarius Byrd as a free safety to be paired with Barry Church. Byrd would be an ideal player for a secondary that I believe will be more like how the Bears played under Lovie Smith, while Rod Marinelli was the defensive coordinator. There should be more looks in a single high, middle of the field player, with the strong safety playing down in the box to help in the run. So you need to find that type of player. What is appears this front office and coaches want to do is give J.J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath, Jakar Hamilton and even Matt Johnson the opportunity to develop in that role as a free safety before adding another player. What you have to understand going forward, is that they are more interested in spending their cap dollars on extensions on Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith, then they are paying a safety because those positions are more critical in their eyes.   

 

Leslie Hanes
Joplin, MO

Any thought about extending Cole Beasley’s contract right now before he has another big season and could price himself out of the team’s range? Getting proactive could prevent them from losing a key player. They did that with Crayton and Ratliff a few years back and tried with Sean Lissemore.  

Nick: I don’t think you’re off base here. I really don’t know if it’s a high priority at the moment. Of course, if Beasley blew up and had a monster year, then you’re going to wish you did that. Still, he’ll be a restricted free agent next year. But since he wasn’t drafted, there won’t be a lot of leverage to keep him unless they put a second-round tender on him. Again, this is all assuming he goes off next year. I don’t know if he’ll get the chance to do that. I think Beasley will be a good, productive player but probably not one that will break the bank here. Yeah, you can say Welker and Amendola all you want, but Beasley isn’t there – yet. He might get there soon. I called him the real X-factor to this offense. So I’m with you that he’s important. Maybe he’s a guy you wait until he performs at a high level during the season and then redo his deal.

 Bryan: I like the proactive thinking and don’t disagree agree with the idea at all. I believed there were times during the season where Beasley wasn’t used to the best of his ability. The club was not nearly good enough on 3rd downs and there were games where this lack of production hurt them in the final outcome of the game. Beasley has proven to be reliable and when given the opportunity, can be a difference maker but the key in that statement is giving him the opportunity. I would be interested to see if given a choice between extending Cole Beasley or Dwayne Harris, in which direction would this staff go? As productive as Beasley can be at times, I would not be surprised to see this group lean in the direction of Harris because of his development and all of the areas that he touches when on the field. 

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