Updated: March 12, 2014, 1:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services
The New Orleans Saints reached agreement with former Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd on a six-year, $54 million deal that includes $28 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Saints announced the six-year deal Tuesday night, but did not confirm the terms.
“We had hoped for the opportunity to pursue Jairus Byrd,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. “After meeting with him, we are excited that he will become a member of the New Orleans Saints. We think that his play-making abilities will be an excellent fit with what we are trying to accomplish with our defense and in our secondary.”
Byrd received the Bills’ franchise tag in 2013 but chose not to sign his franchise tender until the third week of the preseason after he was unable to reach a long-term deal with the Bills.
The team decided not to use the tag again on the safety this offseason.
Byrd, a second-round pick of the Bills in 2009, has been selected to three Pro Bowls. His nine interceptions as a rookie were tied for the most in the NFL that season.
Byrd sat out the first five games of last season due to foot soreness. He finished with 48 tackles and four interceptions.
In a statement released by the Saints, Byrd thanked the Bills franchise while expressing excitement about heading to New Orleans.
“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,” Byrd said. “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.”
ESPN.com Bills reporter Mike Rodak contributed to this report.