When the Tennessee Titans traded All-Pro safety Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 23, the move took many by surprise.
Byard had arguably been Tennessee’s best defensive player until Jeffery Simmons’ breakout 2021 season, and the Middle Tennessee State alum had made it known he wanted to retire a Titan.
However, after Philly’s 28-23 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Byard shed a little light on exactly why the Titans shipped him back to his hometown when speaking to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson after the win.
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“(Head coach Mike) Vrabel did a great job of being honest with me and kind of understanding the situation about (needing) draft picks and things like that,”
Byard said. “They made a business move and that’s what it is in this business. The way it did happen, I was blessed to come to a team (that’s a Super Bowl contender).”
Facing what many believe to be a rebuild, the Titans, who didn’t have a pick in the third, fifth or sixth rounds next year, parted with Byard to build up some
necessary draft capital. The team acquired 2024 fifth- and sixth-round picks in exchange for the 30-year-old safety.
Now, Tennessee has selections in every round except the third, including three picks in Round 7.While Byard didn’t want to leave Nashville and an area where he’d spent the last 11 years of his life dating back to his MTSU days, he seems to harbor no hard feelings for how things played out as the Titans allowed him to chase a Super Bowl ring while planning for their future.
“Being a vet, I understand it’s a business,” Byard added. “I understand the position Tennessee was in when they traded me. … I’ll always be a Tennessee Titan. I love it there and had some great times there.”