Kevin Byard, S
Arguably the best safety in all of football, Kevin Byard should be the Titans’ No. 1 priority to re-sign, whether it be prior to 2019 or after.
A former third-round pick (No. 64 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, Byard was tied for the most interceptions (eight) in the NFL in just his second season, which helped earn him a Pro Bowl selection.
More recently, the 25-year-old (26 in August) was ranked as the No. 4 safety in the league, per PFF.
He has continued to get better and better each season of his career and is an elite talent on the Titans defense. The kind of ballhawk skills and leadership that Byard displays simply doesn’t grow on trees.
There has been a lot of talk about extending Byard before the 2019 season begins, and that would be a wise move. Teams will be lining up to sign him if he hits the open market, possibly driving up his price even higher.
According to Sportrac, the average annual salary of the highest-paid safeties like the Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu and the Washington Redskins’ Landon Collins is $14 million. Given that Byard is better than both, he could easily command that much, and quite possibly more.
It would be in the team’s best interest to lock Byard up sooner rather than later, and that’s what I’d expect the Titans to do prior to this upcoming season.