Steelers have interest in Jairus Byrd, Ravens to move for DE
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are “very active” in trying to sign the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive end Jairius Byrd, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Byrd, a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, was traded to Jacksonville in a deal that sent running back Alvin Kamara to the New Orleans Saints and a third-round draft pick to the team.
Brett Keisel, who coached the Jaguars from 2016 to 2017, said on Twitter Friday that the team has been “very aggressive” in making an offer for Byrd.
“We have not ruled out a trade for Jairious Byrd, who would be an immediate upgrade at the position,” Keisel said.
“I have said this before, however, we have not made an offer.
We are focused on moving forward and are going to do everything in our power to help Jairi.”
Byrde has been one of the most productive pass rushers in the league over the past two seasons.
He was a top-10 performer in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons with 11.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 quarterback hurries.
He has also emerged as a dominant pass rusher in his first year in the NFL.
The 27-year-old Byrd signed a two-year, $16.5 million deal with the Jacksonville franchise in January 2017.
He is set to make $9 million this year, $12 million in 2018 and $13 million in 2019, the last year of his rookie contract.
Bylaws and incentives on the Jaguars’ franchise tag could become more generous in 2018, when Byrd would be due a $12.5-million base salary and $11.5 per win-loss record.
That would put Byrd’s base salary on the books at $17.5, the highest on the team, per Spotrac.
The Jaguars, however,, have already taken steps to lock up the top-five free agents on their roster.
The team has waived defensive end DeMarcus Walker and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, both of whom signed free agency after the 2017 season.
Walker and Kirkpatrick were released in March and were replaced by rookies Dante Fowler Jr. and Anthony Nelson.