Tennessee Titans superstar safety Kevin Byard was present at the team’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
Byard did not participate in the team’s organized team activities (OTAs) earlier in May. Byard’s absence led to some speculation that Byard was unhappy with the current state of his contract. Byard’s attendance at Tennessee’s three-day mandatory camp should remove some of the speculation that’s been going around.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel maintained faith that Byard would be present in Nashville “when the time comes.” Vrabel was proven correct. Byard’s presence was expected and considered to be mandatory.
Byard is scheduled to earn $13.6 million in 2023, per Spotrac. Byard has an identical base salary of $13.6 million in 2024 as well. The Titans could clear $14.1 million in cap space by releasing Byard, but it would make little sense given Byard’s impact. Titans general manager Ran Carthon confirmed the Titans asked Byard to take a pay cut, a request Byard understandably declined.
Byard would have been fined if he remained absent from mandatory minicamp. Byard is however present and accounted for. It doesn’t necessarily mean the pay-related issues between Byard and the Titans have been solved, but Byard’s participation is a clear-cut sign of a strong relationship.
Byard earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2021. The former Middle Tennessee standout recorded 108 tackles, four interceptions and six pass breakups in 2022. Byard remains the leader of Tennessee’s defense.