The rumor mill was certainly spinning in Music City this offseason. It was believed that the Tennessee Titans, teetering on the brink of rebuilding and readjusting, could say goodbye to vital players like quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry, but as we head into the month of July, both players remain on roster. Another key player to have his name popped up in trade rumors was star safety Kevin Byard.
Byard is a two-time All-Pro who has never missed a game in seven seasons. He immediately impressed Tennessee, leading the league in interceptions with eight in his second NFL season. Ahead of the 2019 campaign, Byard signed athat made him the highest-paid safety in NFL history at the time. Going into 2023, he has two years left on that contract, with huge cap hits in every season.
Byard’s cap hit in 2023 is $19.62 million per Spotrac, which is the second highest cap hit on the Titans this season after Tannehill. In March, new Titans general manager Ran Carthon approached Byard about a pay cut, and ESPN reported that the two sides were . Then… nothing happened.
The Titans’ leader on the defensive touched somewhat on the pay cut in a minicamp press conference with reporters, but didn’t actually say much about the situation. This week Byard hopped on “Bussin’ With the Boys,” a podcast hosted by former Titans teammates Taylor Lewan and Will Compton, and he took a closer look at what happened.
Byard said the pay cut talk between his camp and the Titans took place about a month before the report surfaced in March. At the time, Byard was in Cabo with his family when his agent called and asked if he spoke to reporters about his contract situation. It was then that Byard realized that his social media exploded, as there were false reports indicating that Byard had asked for his release or a trade, which made him want to keep quiet about everything.
“It’s very easy to get your emotions involved,” Byard said. “When my agent told me – obviously he had a conversation with the team and reported everything to me – it was very easy to be emotional because I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt a certain way.” about the. ‘What? What did they ask for?’ But at the same time, you cannot be emotional in matters. If you make an emotional decision in your affairs, it will most likely be a bad thing. So I had to find a way to compartmentalize everything and just kind of keep my emotions out of it as I make these different decisions.
‘Yes man. It has happened. And I think we’re in a good place now.”
Titans fans are sure to be happy to hear that Byard says he and the organization are in a “good place.” He added that he was unhappy with the story, indicating that he was “unsatisfied” or didn’t want to be in Tennessee anymore.
As Byard pointed out during the interview, this means that every time a player is asked to take a pay cut, something is going to happen. You either take that pay cut or you’re probably going to play somewhere else. In this unique case, that did not happen.
“I think Ran’s a good guy, he’s cool, man,” Byard said. “I don’t have any bad feelings about the whole situation. It just is what it is.”