Safeties in the NFL continue to cash out in a big way in 2019:
Titans and S Kevin Byard reached agreement on a 5-year, $70.5 million agreement that includes $31 million in guarantees, per source. Byard – who has the same agent (@DavidMulugheta) as Landon Collins and Earl Thomas, now is the highest paid safety in NFL history.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Tennessee Titans have reached a deal to keep safety Kevin Byard for a long time — and with a healthy contract, too. The Titans will reportedly make Byard the league’s highest-paid safety with their agreement, with a source indicating to Schefter that Byard’s new deal includes $31 million in guarantees and could be worth as much as $70.5 million. That’s a major chunk of change, but well-deserved for Byard. Let season, Byard was Pro Football Focus’ fourth-ranked safety last season and is just one year removed from a first-team All-Pro campaign. Again, that’s a well-earned new contract for Tennessee’s standout defender.
Byard is the latest safety to get big money this offseason. We watched Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, and Earl Thomas secure the bag with new deals during free agency. And at this time next year, we could be looking at Bears safety Eddie Jackson joining the multi-millionaires club.
Jackson isn’t eligible to sign an extension until after this season, but it would be wise for us to keep an eye on how much dough safeties are rolling in right now. The Bears’ star safety has come up with eight interceptions, 11 total turnovers, and five defensive touchdowns in his first two seasons as a pro. And after establishing himself as one of the stars at his position with first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2018, Jackson could position himself for a contract like Byard’s next year. Jackson’s future deal is reason enough for the Bears to proceed cautiously with the $16.777 million they are estimated to have in cap space right now.
Back in April, we discussed how Jackson could become the NFL’s highest-paid safety when he is eligible to sign an extension. So while Jackson and the Bears are nowhere near close to approaching that bridge, they could get there in due time. Once they do, Byard’s deal will likely be one Jackson shoots to surpass.