NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday from the NFL Scouting Combine that the possibility of a reunion between Browns coach Mike Pettine and the playmaking safety "is real," according to sources familiar with the team's thinking.
Pettine and Byrd worked together in 2013 during Pettine's one-year cameo as defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. Adding an elite player like Byrd would strengthen Cleveland's secondary while also giving Pettine someone who could teach his defense to Browns players.
Byrd is scheduled to become a free agent next month, but the Bills could complicate matters by using their franchise tag on the safety. That would necessitate a trade to get Byrd to Cleveland. The Bills would like to keep Byrd and are scheduled to meet with him this week.
If the Browns land Byrd, it would mean the end of T.J. Ward's time in Cleveland. The strong safety is also headed toward free agency and the Browns don't have enough in their budget for two high-priced safeties.