NFL free agency 2014: Jairus Byrd signs with New Orleans Saints

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills now have a gaping hole at free safety after Jairus Byrd signed a six-year deal with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday.

It's official: Jairus Byrd is on his way out of Buffalo.

The New Orleans Saints announced on Tuesday evening that they'd agreed to terms with Byrd on a long-term contract; ESPN's Adam Schefter says it's a six-year deal worth $54 million, with $28 million guaranteed. Which is, obviously, a rather massive deal.

Byrd, 27, spent the 2013 season on the franchise tag for the Buffalo Bills, playing in 11 games and doing enough to earn a third Pro Bowl nod as well as second team All-Pro. Last week, the Bills elected not to use the franchise tag on Byrd for a second time, which paved his way to the open market.

The free agent safety market moved quickly this year; seven safeties switched teams before it even came to light that Byrd had scheduled a visit, but the Saints moved quickly to ensure that they wouldn't let Byrd make any more trips to other teams.

After the Bills decided not to use the tag on Byrd, they signed 23-year-old safety Aaron Williams to a four-year, $26 million contract extension last week. Williams now becomes the team's top safety, and the Bills have a gaping hole to fill on the back end of their defense.

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