It turns out that report about how Howie Roseman is “specifically targeting a safety” ahead of the NFL trade deadline was not off the mark! The Philadelphia Eagles’ general manager made another deal with the Tennessee Titans on Monday afternoon.
EAGLES RECEIVE: Kevin Byard
TITANS RECEIVE: Terrell Edmunds, 2024 fifth-round pick, 2024 sixth-round pick
That’s quite a steal for the Birds.
And from the same organization (different general manager) that Howie fleeced to get A.J. Brown. Crazy!
Byard, who turned 30 in August, is a two-time first-team All-Pro safety (2017 and 2021) who has a track record of making plays on the ball. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2017, he’s logged 27 interceptions, 59 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and three sacks in 98 games played.
Though he doesn’t have a pick this season, Byard had four last year and he only allowed a 77.8 passer rating when targeted. He also boasts low missed tackle percentage numbers over his career.
Byard has been very durable; he hasn’t missed a game in seven seasons. That’s a comforting thought considering the Eagles have been banged up on the back end this season. Philly just beat the Miami Dolphins without two starting safeties since Reed Blankenship is dealing with a ribs injury and Justin Evans is on injured reserve.
Byard is obviously a huge upgrade on the departing Edmunds, who mostly struggled when forced into action. It’ll be Byard and Sydney Brown starting at safety until Blankenship is ready to return. At that point, Byard and Blankenship figure to suddenly form one of the NFL’s best safety tandems. A position of weakness has the potential to be turned into a big strength.
The cost to acquire Byard, a Philly native (fun bonus!), is so minimal. But the Titans appear to be trade deadline sellers after starting 2-4 and dealing with a Ryan Tannehill injury. The Eagles will still have seven picks in the 2024 NFL Draft due to receiving four compensatory selections: 1st, 2nd, 2nd (from NO), 3rd, 4th, and two 5ths.
The Eagles are only on the hook for just over $2 million of Byard’s base salary in 2023. He has a $9.6 million salary in 2024 but that’s not guaranteed. The Eagles can always figure out whether they want to extend him or move on after this season.
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