NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles traded for two-time All-Pro safety Kevin Byard to help a banged-up secondary hours after beating the NFL’s best offense.
The Eagles are sending safety Terrell Edmunds and fifth and sixth-round draft picks in 2024 to the Tennessee Titans, pending both players passing physicals. The Eagles and Titans confirmed the trade of Tennessee’s five-time defensive captain to Philadelphia on Monday night.
Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk thanked Byard and his wife, Clarke, for their work on and off the field as a model of leadership.
“His phenomenal play and tireless charitable efforts have earned him a special and lasting place in our hearts,” Strunk said in a statement. “Kevin will always be a Titan, and we wish him well this year and in the years to come.”
Philadelphia improved to 6-1 and tied Super Bowl champion Kansas City for the NFL’s best record after beating Miami 31-17 on Sunday night. The Eagles limited Miami’s offense to season lows in points scored, total yards (244), passing yards (199), rushing yards (45) and time of possession (23:17).
Reports of the trade emerged Monday while Eagles coach Nick Sirianni talked to reporters and he said he couldn’t talk about those.
“I obviously want to get with everybody and talk before I say anything here,” Sirianni said.
Byard posted his heartfelt thanks on social media to everyone in the Titans organization, both head coaches during his tenure, his teammates and especially the Tennessee fans. He concluded that it was a “dream come true” to be a Titan.
“With that being said… (at)Eagles it’s up!!,” Byard wrote. He also added a couple of eagle emojis and the hashtag “FlyEaglesFly.”
Byard has 27 interceptions since becoming a starter in 2017, the most among all NFL safeties through 2022.
Edmunds, a first-round pick in 2018, has five interceptions. Edmunds has started two of seven games for Philadelphia after spending his first five seasons with Pittsburgh.
This deal fills a big need for the Eagles, who lost safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson to Detroit in free agency and are dealing with injuries in their secondary.
Philadelphia cornerback Darius Slay liked the trade, writing on social media: “Just got better let’s work (at) KevinByard yes sir!!!”
This trade reunites Byard with a former Tennessee teammate in wide receiver A.J. Brown, traded by the Titans to the Eagles during the 2022 draft. Brown shared the NFL’s social media post reporting the trade along with a photo of himself with his finger to his lips.
Byard was the first pick overall in the third round of 2016 and had been Tennessee’s longest-tenured defensive player. Born in Philadelphia, Byard has started 111 of his 120 regular-season games and has not missed a game because of injury. He also has started seven playoff games.
This marks a big step toward rebuilding for the Titans (2-4), who have lost 11 of their past 13 games going back to last season.
New general manager Ran Carthon confirmed in April that he asked Byard, who turned 30 in August, to take a pay cut this offseason despite having led the Titans in both tackles and interceptions each of the past two seasons.
Byard and Tennessee restructured his contract in July just before training camp. The trade leaves the Titans with a dead cap hit of $8.82 million for this season and $13.36 million for 2024, according to Spotrac.
Carthon called Byard the “definition of a pro’s pro.” Coach Mike Vrabel thanked Byard for helping carry his message in the locker room when he was hired in 2018 and helping establish the approach he wanted for the Titans.
“His play on the field speaks for itself,” Vrabel said. “An intelligent and athletic player, he has led the secondary and helped us win a lot of games.”
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi and AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston contributed to this report.
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