The Eagles are shoring up their defensive backfield by adding a player with All-Pro and Pro Bowl pedigree, with a history of leadership, and someone who is coming home to help the defense in the second half of this season, at the very least. The team added veteran safety Kevin Byard on Monday, agreeing to a trade to acquire him from the Tennessee Titans for fifth- and sixth-round draft picks in 2024, along with safety Terrell Edmunds. Byard, a two-time first-team All-Pro selection and two-time Pro Bowl player, is at the top of his game and he has a chance to add immediately to Sean Desai's group.
Byard was born in Philadelphia, starred at Middle Tennessee State, and was a third-round pick (the first pick of the third round, No. 64 overall) of the Titans in 2016 and since then he has been a mainstay of that defense with his sideline-to-sideline presence, his ability to find the football, and affect the way an offense plays. In short, he is a complete safety in his eighth NFL season who has 27 career interceptions and who has played his usual outstanding football for Tennessee this season.
In six games with the Titans in 2023, Byard has 47 total tackles, including 30 solo hits, and a fumble recovery, starting all six games – he has started 111 consecutive games overall.
In 2022, Byard led the Titans with four interceptions and 106 tackles. He notched his fifth total season (2017-19, 2021-22) and second consecutive season in which he led the Titans in interceptions, and it was his third straight campaign (2020-22) leading the defense in tackles. Prior to 2021, no previous Titans/Oilers player had led the team in both interceptions and tackles in a single season, and Byard accomplished the feat in consecutive years.
Byard has also been active in the community – in 2020, Byard was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work in the community. He's been lauded by the Tennessee media as well – in 2022, Byard was voted by the Nashville chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America as the first recipient of the Eddie George Good Guy Award. Byard's nickname "Mayor of Murfreesboro," popularized by Titans play-by-play announcer and Vice President of Broadcasting Mike Keith, is due to his success in the region, beginning at Middle Tennessee State University, which is located in the city of Murfreesboro.
This is a trade that the Eagles expect will upgrade a safety group that has been plagued by injuries all season and has still played at a high level despite those bumps and bruises.
What a win! Photography Director Kiel Leggere takes you behind the scenes for the Eagles' 31-17 Sunday Night Football victory over the Miami Dolphins. Check out the photos!