NFL: Tennessee Titans-Training Camp
Jul 26, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; during training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » Titans lock up Kevin Byard on massive extension

Titans lock up Kevin Byard on massive extension

The Tennessee Titans had a good news, bad news Wednesday. Taylor Lewan’s pending four-game suspension? Bad news. Kevin Byard signing a five-year, $70.5 million extension? Good news.

Byard, 25, is one of the league’s best safeties. Now he’s being paid like it, becoming one of the richest players in the league and currently the NFL’s highest-paid at his position. With the Titans still built on running the ball and playing defense, Byard is even more valuable to Tennessee than he would be elsewhere.


Want $250 to bet on NFL futures?

Sign up here!


With the final year of his rookie deal looming, it made sense for the Titans to hammer out a deal before the free safety became even more expensive following the campaign. With quarterback Marcu Mariota on the last year of his deal, general manager Jon Robinson was wise to keep his options open come the offseason. In short, if Mariota plays well and deserves a long-term extension, the Titans now have the option to use the franchise tag on him without allowing Byard to test his value on the open market.

In his three seasons since coming to Tennessee by way of Middle Tennessee State, Byard has racked up an impressive 12 interceptions and 28 passes defensed. He also notched three sacks and 235 tackles in that time, showcasing the talents of a complete player.


Read: Cowboys Reportedly Not Expecting Ezekiel Elliott to Hold Out


Moving forward, Tennessee has one of the best secondaries in football. Robinson has invested heavily in the area over the past few seasons, taking corner Adoree Jackson in the first round out of USC before spending major money on a pair of ex-New England Patriots cornerbacks in Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler. Joining Byard on the back end is Kenny Vaccaro, a hard-hitting strong safety out of Texas who made his first NFL stop with the New Orleans Saints.

Considering the Titans play in a division with Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck, Robinson understands the importance of quality in the secondary. The front end should help as well, with Jurrell Casey being one of the league’s most under-appreciated players at defensive tackle. If Tennessee can get a breakout campaign from second-year edge rusher Harold Landry, there’s reason to believe it could have an elite defense.

While the Titans still have pieces to find and subsequently sign before becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender, the inking of Byard long term is a terrific step in the right direction.

  • 100%