After making arguably the biggest noise in this year's NFL Draft by selecting QB E.J. Manual with the 16th overall pick, the Buffalo Bills next logical order of business moves to the negotiating table in hopes of extending their young and talented safety Jairus Byrd.
With recent deals to new Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson and a sizeable deal for Michael Griffin in Tennessee last offseason, there's a fairly sketched out barometer to base negotiation points with. We'll assess Byrd into our standard forecast tool - breaking down contracts of a selected set of variables safeties, and then comparing these players statistically to Byrd in the years leading up to their respective contract signings. The result will provide us with a projected value for Jairus Byrd's likely extension (or free agent contract).
• According to PFF, in 2012 Byrd was the #1 safety targeted while in primary coverage.
• Over the past year, Byrd has been the #1 most efficient tackler against the pass, and #3 best against the run.
• In 2011 Byrd had 3 INT - 2 of which he took back for touchdowns.
|Player||Length||Value||Avg. Salary||Age When Signed|
|Eric Weddle||5||$40 million||$8,000,000||26|
|Antrel Rolle||5||$37 million||$7,400,000||27|
|Michael Griffin||5||$35 million||$7,000,000||27|
|Dashon Goldson||5||$41.25 million||$8,250,000||28|
Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.
View the list of Top Average Paid Safeties in the NFL
Because Rolle/Griffin/Goldson were older than Byrd (will be), we'll bring the above contracts down to his age by subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 26 years old. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:
|Length||Value||Avg. Salary (slope)|
|Player||Games||Tackles||Assists||Forced Fum.||INT||WR Catch %|
|Eric Weddle (2009-10, SD)||14.5||73.5||15||0||2||62.45|
|Antrel Rolle (2008-09, ARI)||15.5||68.5||11||.5||2.5||70.2|
|Michael Griffin (2010-11, TEN)||16||72.5||19||1.5||3||60.4|
|Dashon Goldson (2011-12, SF)||15||54.5||13.5||1||4.5||60.85|
|Jairus Byrd (2011-12, BUF)||16||64||23||3.5||4||63.85|
|Overall Prime %||18.02%|
We'll factor his Prime Percentage of 18.02%, into our previously determined base value.
Length of the Contract
Looking at safety contracts in recent years the 5 year deal seems to be status quo. While Byrd is on the younger side of our variables, it's still safe to assume he'll garner the standard deal.
Value of the Contract
Our initial age-adjusted regression provided an average annual salary just north of $7.6M, a figure that would place him 5th highest on the average annual safety list. It's clear though with performance, durability, age and our statistical comparisons that Byrd certainly deserves a look at a maximum deal - either with Buffalo or on the free agent market. By factoring in our 18% Prime Percentage figure to our original base valu we're able to output the following forecast:
• Average annual salary: $9,022,530
• Guaranteed money: $19,669,116