NFL News: Eagles save $13 million in salary cap following Kevin Byard’s release after just one season

The Philadelphia Eagles are poised to fortify their secondary after a disappointing season in 2023. With a gaping hole in their defensive backfield, the team is widely anticipated to splash the cash on reinforcements during the offseason, hoping to solidify this crucial unit.

The NFL’s announcement of a record-high salary cap of $255.4 million for 2024 provides teams like the Eagles with ample resources to address their roster needs. Philly wasted no time initiating changes, parting ways with safety Kevin Byard to kickstart their defensive overhaul.

Eagles cut Kevin Byard

Kevin Byard’s release comes as part of the team’s efforts to manage their salary cap effectively while making strategic roster adjustments for the upcoming season.

The team effectively reduced their 2024 financial commitment from $14.4 million to a more manageable $1.4 million by releasing the safety. The move will free up an impressive $13 million in cap space, via CBS Sports. It will also provide them with increased flexibility to address their roster needs and make impactful moves in the upcoming offseason, with approximately $42 million now at their disposal.

Fresh off a trade from the Tennessee Titans, Kevin Byard, the former first pick of the third round in 2016, has landed in the Eagles’ nest. Byard, the longest-tenured Titan on defense, saw his contract get retooled in July, just as training camp rolled into town.

The Eagles were eager to strengthen their secondary, and acquired Byard in October by sending safety Terrell Edmunds along with fifth and sixth-round draft picks in 2024 to the Titans. However, his journey in Philadelphia didn’t turn out well.

With seasoned veterans like Darius Slay and James Bradberry entering the twilight of their careers, the team faces a crucial reconstruction project in the defensive backfield. Their current depth chart at safety is barren beyond Reed Blankenship and Sydney Brown, leaving them with only two players under contract for next season.

Desperate for reinforcements, the Eagles will be scouring the market for young talent to strengthen their secondary and patch the holes in their defensive armor.

Kevin Byard’s performance with Eagles

Veteran safety Kevin Byard played for the Eagles in 10 regular-season games in 2023, racking up a respectable 75 tackles, a clutch interception, and swatting away three passes. He continued his ball-hawking ways in the playoffs, bringing his season total to 80 tackles, four quarterback pressures, and another crucial interception.

One play etched in Eagles lore was Byard’s game-sealing pick-six in the end zone against the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs. With his back against the wall and Chiefs’ gunslinger Patrick Mahomes uncorking a pass, Byard high-pointed the ball like a seasoned wideout, snuffing out the scoring threat and securing a vital victory for the Eagles.

Kevin Byard
Bleeding Green Nation

The safety established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the field for the Titans. His athleticism and leadership qualities earned him the honor of being a five-time team captain and a nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The vet is a two-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection with the Titans.

Since entering the league in 2016, Kevin Byard has consistently ranked among the top defensive players. He currently sits third in interceptions, with an impressive total of 28. However, his journey with the Eagles didn’t align with his past track record of success.

Maliha

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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.

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