With Titans' Kevin Byard Trade, Future Coming Into Focus

With Titans' Kevin Byard Trade, Future Coming Into Focus

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

The Titans have flirted with a rebuild over the last 12 months, starting with getting rid of Jon Robinson and then continuing with a trade up for quarterback Will Levis in the draft. However, they hadn’t fully committed to prioritizing their future at the expense of their present. That is, until Monday when they shipped two-time All-Pro safety Kevin Byard to the Eagles for safety Terrell Edmunds and 2024 fifth and sixth-round picks.

Kevin Byard
  Kevin Byard/ courtesy Tennessee Titans

While I understand fans’ emotional attachment to Byard, a homegrown star who was exemplary in every way during his time in Tennessee, I also believe this is a move that had to be made. I’ll explain why before we jump into what this means for the Titans moving forward as well.

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If Titans' Ryan Tannehill Is Out, Both Young QBs Will Play -- But It's Got To Be Mostly Will Levis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If Ryan Tannehill can't go Sunday, Mike Vrabel said he'd anticipate both young Titans' quarterbacks will play against the Falcons on Sunday.

When you have two you don't have one.

Will Levis
  Will Levis/ Angie Flatt

But surely this can't be an every-other-series sort of scenario.

The best that can come of it is Levis being the primary guy with packages for Willis to enter the game as a change-up with options to run the ball, which is where he is most dangerous. [Unlocked] 


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The Indispensable Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With Kevin Byard gone, the Titans could be trading some additional veterans.

Whether they do or not, it’s a good time to assess the roster.

Tyjae Spears
  Tyjae Spears/ Angie Flatt

Who HAS to be here for the long term? Who would be left standing if you did an imaginary tear down to the studs? Who are the indispensable Titans?

Here’s my list:

1)    Jeffery Simmons: He’s not played great the last few games, but he’s the Titans' biggest foundational piece. At his best he’s a player offenses have to worry about on every play, disrupting pass plays from the inside and tracking every run play.

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We Discussed Titans' Trade Of Kevin Byard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- What better coping mechanism as you come to terms with the departure of No. 31 than a Monday Night Football halftime chat?

We got it done and it makes for a quality rewatch even if you were not able to join us.

Kevin Byard is off to the Eagles in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round draft picks and safety Terrell Edmunds and the Titans may be at the start of an attempted fire sale. 

PK TV: Kevin ByardIt's the healthy thing for the organization to do, as next year's price structure versus Byard's production was not going to allow for a 2024 cap hit north of $14 million. 

But that doesn't mean it's easy for fans who've loved a player for eight years to watch him leave and to come to terms with where the organization is. And that's not in a good place at all.

Elijah Molden has missed two games already this season, including Week Six with a hamstring issue. Will he be ready to return and assume Byard's slot next to Amani Hooker on Sunday when the season resumes against Atlanta? If not we could see Dane Cruikshank off the practice squad, undrafted rookie Matthew Jackson or a quick move to Edmunds.

And who's next if the Titans continue to trade? It takes a willing partner and the rest of the Titans on the list -- outside of DeAndre Hopkins -- all have something that makes them not worth as much as Byard was.

We sorted through it all on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (which is also below). Check it out.

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A Fond Farewell To Kevin Byard As The Titans Start to Sell

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sentimentality comes first, ahead of practicality. 

For eight years Kevin Byard has been as likable a Titan as any in the team's Tennessee history, as stand-up, as productive.

Kevin Byard
  Kevin Byard/ Angie Flatt

To be a First-Team All-Pro twice, five years apart, is a big accomplishment. He carried himself in a way that Mike Mularkey and then Mike Vrabel wanted others to model and he was a gold star on the draft resume of Jon Robinson. Fans loved him. Last year he won the media's first Good Guy award, named after Eddie George and there was no second place. [Unlocked]

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How The Titans' London Game Looks If We Turn The Ravens' Fined Plays Into Penalties

Ronnie Stanley
  Ronnie Stanley's unnecessary roughness on
  Jeffery Simmons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Seven fines for infractions came out of the Week Six Ravens-Titans game in London.

Six of those fines were against five Baltimore players, and four of the violations were not called by referee Bill Vinovich and his crew during the game.

I went back and looked at each play to see how a call rather than a non-call would have altered things as they unfolded.

Second quarter

Second-and-10 TEN 30 (4:52) 

(Shotgun) L.Jackson pass short left to Z.Flowers to TEN 26 for 4 yards (T.Avery, J.Gibbens).
PENALTY on TEN-J.Simmons, Unnecessary Roughness, 13 yards, enforced at TEN 26

Result: First-and-10 TEN 13

FINES: Simmons, unnecessary roughness, $11,473
Odell Beckham, unnecessary roughness, $11,473

The play: Simmons turned to chase down receiver Zay Flowers who was already surrounded by two Titans’ tacklers and it 


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Titans' Mail: Draft Eagerness, Long-Term Positioning, Scouting Vs. Development And More

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- What a fun, big weekend off awaits us.

But during the course of it you must have a quality Titans' read, and so I collected a dozen of the best questions that came to be through the private Facebook page -- which gets priority -- as well as Twitter as did my best to give you some detailed and thoughtful answers to the things that are most pressing for you.

DeAndre Hopkins
  DeAndre Hopkins' leadership has been excellent

So here is the big weekend read.

If you're not a member, remember to go download the ZenSports app, use code TNPAUL, make a $10 bet, and get a free membership. If you're a member and you bet $250 (winning with all of it, of course) they'll give you $250 more. 

ZenSports is a way better way to bet, as you get five percent of what you bet for the first 15 days back in cash, and up to three percent back monthly after that. (Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-889-9789. Terms & Conditions apply. Must be 21+ and in Tennessee to bet.)

Jump on it.

Here we go.

David Jackson Why do you think so many fans are so eager for the team to tank? There have been a lot of top 10 qbs (and other positions for that matter) that didn’t pan out, after a team had a bad stretch and continually drafted high. It seems like the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, but clearly not everyone sees it that way.

The fascination with draft position bewilders me.

The regular season is just 18 weeks long. We wait for the games all year. Now we’re in the midst of them,and people are more concerned with the names that will be called at the end of April, SIX MONTHS from now.

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Titans' Big Money Players Not Living Up To Their Prices

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The highest-paid players need to produce for their team to have success. And amid all the Titans' problems, they are not getting very much out of their cash cows.

Jeffery Simmons talked in London about the team's leaders being vocal and speaking their minds, helping to spark change.

Jeffery Simmons
  Jeffery Simmons/ Angie Flatt

But those leaders also need to trigger teammates with better, contagious play.

Here is what the Titans’ big-dollar guys have done through six games:


Ryan Tannehill

Cap hit: $36.6 million
Base salary: $27 million [Unlocked]

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