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Should Eagles target Kevin Byard or Terrell Edmunds to become their new starting safety next season? 3/24/2023 Chris Franklin,

When the Eagles look at their list of opponents next season, they know they have a challenge ahead of them defensively. In 2023, the Eagles will face five offenses that finished in the top seven in total offense (Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings).

When going against these top units, the Eagles will do so with at least five new starters after teams began signing away defenders in free agencies. (Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, linebackers T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White, and safeties C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps). Attempting to make their way back to the Super Bowl, the Eagles are looking for the right players to start, putting them in a position to win. The Eagles do have some flexibility if they still want to add players via free agency.

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According to Over the Cap, the Eagles are $13.9 million under the salary cap, giving them a choice of adding a few players or rolling over the money to 2024. The Eagles have already signed former Justin Evans this offseason as one of the moves to shore up the safety position last week, and on Thursday, the team brought in free agent safety and linebacker Keanu Neal for a visit, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

The Tennessee Titans want Kevin Byard, who was born in Philadelphia and a former teammate of wide receiver A.J. Brown, to take a pay cut, according to ESPN’s Turron Davenport. Byard, a 29 year old two-time All-Pro, finished last season with four interceptions, six passes defended, 108 tackles, and a quarterback hit. Davenport stated that Byard, who will count $19.6 million towards the Titans’ cap, wants to stay with one team for his entire career, but if he remains steadfast on not taking a pay cut, he could be on the move.

Like Gardner-Johnson, Byard has shown flexibility to line up at free safety and take chances to jump routes and pick off passes or line up close to the line of scrimmage and take on slot receivers or tight ends.

For the Eagles to add him, it likely could become a similar situation during last year’s draft, when the Titans allowed Brown and his agent to try to negotiate an extension to see if a deal could be done before a trade would hypothetically be completed.

If the price is too high, there is another option available in the form of Terrell Edmunds, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Steelers after the team made him their first-round pick in 2018, posted a tweet Thursday stating that his time with the team was about to come to an end.

“Thank you Pittsburgh for making my dreams come to reality!” Edmunds tweeted. “You will forever be apart of me and my journey! I’m thankful for all of my coaches, teammates and every fan supporting! To my bruddas y’all kno how we rockin, it’s gonna be luv until the wheels fall off.”

Edmunds, who spent most of his snaps at free safety last season, started in 15 games, finishing with five passes defended and 70 tackles while proving that he was an effective blitzer when called upon to rush the passer, getting two sacks and three pressures in 10 blitz opportunities, according to Pro Football Reference. Adding Edmunds could allow the Eagles to keep their top sign him to a short-term deal, keep their higher draft picks, and still target a young safety in the draft, with Alabama’s Brian Branch and Penn State’s Ji’Ayir Brown.

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