Monday, May 20, 2024

Eagles, Titans trade grades: Star safety Kevin Byard dealt to Philly for Terrell Edmunds, two draft picks

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is seemingly always active around the trade deadline, and on Monday, he struck a deal to bring an All-Pro safety to town. The Eagles are trading for Tennessee Titans star Kevin Byard, sending safety Terrell Edmunds plus 2024 fifth- and sixth-round picks to Tennessee in the deal, CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reports. The fifth- and sixth-rounders will be the Eagles’ highest picks in each round.

Byard, who was actually born in Philadelphia, is a two-time first-team All-Pro safety and two-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL in interceptions back in 2017 with eight. The Titans selected Byard in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Middle Tennessee State. Following the trade, the 30-year-old Byard released a statement via social media thanking the Titans organization for its support during his time there.

The Eagles were a team many considered to be buyers at the looming trade deadline, and boosting the secondary was a clear goal. Not only does Philly have the No. 18 pass defense in the NFL through seven weeks, but the Eagles are also working through several injuries at the safety position, with Reed Blankenship and Justin Evans banged-up. Byard is someone who will immediately improve this unit. 

Byard is in what can be described as the final year of his contract, which he actually restructured this offseason. Per NFL Media, the Titans paid Byard $7 million of his $11 million compensation in a signing bonus back in July, so there’s not much cash involved in this deal. In 120 career games played, Byard has recorded 674 combined tackles, four sacks, 63 passes defensed and 27 interceptions.

The “Mayor of Murfreesboro” was the most consistent player the Titans defense has had in quite some time. Byard was a leader on the field and in the community, and didn’t miss a single game during his time with Tennessee.

Let’s attempt to grade this transaction:

Eagles: A

Byard isn’t guaranteed to stay in Philadelphia past this season, but Philly is all-in in 2023 — as it should be. Byard is exactly the player the Eagles should have been searching for: A talented veteran on a losing team that was mulling being sellers at the trade deadline. This is just another classic Roseman deal. Great move.

Titans: C-

Parting ways with someone who has been a franchise legend in the middle of the season is always tough, and it’s even tougher considering that Byard is being shipped to the Eagles, of all teams. The Titans famously made the Eagles much better when they shipped star wideout A.J. Brown to Philly in the middle of the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, Titans general manager Jon Robinson was fired less than eight months after that transaction. 

Brown reacted to Byard being traded to his squad on social media:

While the Titans are again making the Eagles better and only received a couple of Day 3 picks in return plus a player, it’s probably smart for Tennessee to be sellers at the trade deadline. The Titans don’t have many picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. Maybe more moves are coming. 

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