There has been a lot made about Jeffery Simmons being used as a trade asset to entice movers but maybe the Titans fan base is worried about the team shipping off the wrong star.
A potential trade package with the Arizona Cardinals would require a haul of assets. Luckily, there is actually a great recent historical comparison for us to use as a framework for any prediction.
In 2021, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the 3rd pick in the draft to select Trey Lance, in exchange they gave the Miami Dolphins the 12th pick in the draft, a first-round pick in 2022, a third-round pick in 2022, and a first-round pick in 2023.
As a note, Tennessee Titans new GM Ran Carthon happened to be the director of personnel in San Francisco at the time.
That is a lot of draft capital and the Titans are looking to get younger and cheaper by their own admission.
That means that if the Tennessee Titans were serious about trading up with Arizona they would need to find a way to entice the Cardinals with a player in addition to picks.
Enter Kevin Byard.
He is one of the best safeties in the league and is firmly in his prime at age 29.
Arizona had one of the worst defenses in the league last season by many metrics. As a team, they will be looking to load up on that side of the ball come draft night, but they could get a great defensive player much further back than the 3rd pick.
Why Kevin Byard and not Jeffery Simmons? Well, it probably comes down to age. While Kevin Byard’s value is undeniable, he is 4 years older than Jeffery Simmons which means something in the NFL, tipping the scales in favor of the team opting to keep Simmons over Byard.
In addition, there was the kerfuffle a few weeks ago where it was reported that Byard was asked to restructure his contract which has led to many wondering what KB’s future in Tennessee is.
If I had to guess, from Arizona’s perspective a package that includes Kevin Byard, the 11th pick, and a 2024 first-round pick may be enough to get the ball rolling. If the market is competitive, they could as for an additional future draft pick.
The likelihood of working out a trade between Tennessee and Arizona could also be benefited by Monti Ossenfort, current Arizona Cardinals General Manager, being a former Titans employee.
If the Titans feel like this is a draft class with three franchise quarterbacks, this could be a franchise-altering move, especially considering they would jump ahead of the Indianapolis Colts at 4 who are also angling for a quarterback.
Anthony Richardson has been incredible in the pre-draft process, and his upside might be enticing enough to push Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud down to the third pick.
No one knows anymore, but Tennessee Titans fans should prepare now for the possibility that Kevin Byard could be a piece that makes sense to move if the team wants to make that move.