Buffalo Bills: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Buffalo Bills
6 Sep 1998: General view of a Buffalo Bills helmet lying on the grass during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Bills 16-14. /

Butch Byrd. 20. player. 16. . Cornerback. 1964-70

Putting up huge numbers in the interceptions column wasn’t easy during the 1960s. The passing game wasn’t nearly what it is today, which is why creating turnovers through the air wasn’t exactly a common occurrence. That is, unless you were Butch Byrd.

The Bills’ star cornerback of the AFL and early NFL days, Byrd was a master of the interception. The franchise leader in picks with 40, he’s held that designation for nearly 50 years since bringing his time in Buffalo to an end. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that he made it all happen in only seven seasons.

A two-time champion, five-time AFL All-Star and five-time All-AFL selection, Byrd earned the praise of his fellow footballers throughout his time with the Bills. A lockdown cornerback before it was a thing, Byrd also excelled at finding the end zone after intercepting the pass, turning in five pick-sixes before bidding Buffalo adieu.

As you’ll soon realize, there aren’t many cornerbacks on this list. However, if one absolutely needed to be included, it was Byrd, who set the standard for star cornerbacks before and immediately after the AFL-NFL merger.