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Is Kevin Byard Facing a Future Move From the Titans?



Kevin Byard has earned two Pro Bowls and helped propel the Tennessee Titans to multiple playoff appearances, establishing himself as one of the league’s best safeties in the process. But is the eight-year veteran suddenly facing a shaky future in Nashville?

Titans’ Decision, Plus Kevin Byard’s No-Show, Fuels Speculation on Future

Byard hasn’t been with the Titans for organized team activities (OTAs) during the week of May 22. Head coach Mike Vrabel confirmed Byard has been absent from this period.

While veterans like Byard have the option to skip the voluntary workouts, there’s still fuel to speculate the safety and the Titans could be heading toward separation.

Back on March 17, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported the Titans approached the safety about taking a pay cut.

“But the Pro Bowl safety does not believe his play warrants a decrease in salary,” Schefter added.

Titans general manager Ran Carthon later confirmed with Nashville reporters on April 24, before the NFL Draft, that the team asked Byard to take a pay cut. But again, Byard is yet to accept the Titans’ terms. He is set to earn $13.6 million for 2023 and for 2024. He doesn’t become a free agent until 2025, when his five-year, $70.5 million deal runs out.

While Byard is a no-show, Vrabel said Tuesday that he has stayed in contact with the defender.

“Saw him at the golf course Sunday. He looks great,” Vrabel said. “And we had a great conversation.”

MORE: Where Do the Titans Rank Among NFL Defenses? 

Was it the kind of conversation where Vrabel believes Byard will eventually rejoin the Titans?

“I expect him to be here at OTAs,” Vrabel said. “I would expect him at some point.”

However, the Titans have gone from the rumblings surrounding a possible trade involving star running back Derrick Henry to now dealing with Byard’s situation — the latter pertaining to a pillar of their defense and one who even has the respect of, arguably, the league’s best safety.

Derwin James: Byard Is Biggest Threat to Title of Best Safety

Speaking with actor/comedian Kevin Hart on “Cold as Balls” on the LOL Network, Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowl safety Derwin James — ranked as PFN’s No. 1 safety ahead of the 2023 season — cited two defenders in the league who can make the ground shift at any time and are the biggest threats at safety.

“Budda Baker, that’s a dog,” James said, followed by, “I’d say Kevin Byard.”

MORE: Tennessee Titans 2023 Schedule

James has earned three Pro Bowls since his arrival to the league out of Florida State in 2018. Baker has the most appearances among the trio with five, including four consecutive trips to the NFL’s all-star contest.

Byard, though, has 20 more career interceptions in comparison to James and Baker, as both have seven for their careers.

Unlike Baker and Byard, James never faced questions about his future with his franchise during the 2023 offseason. And as Baker became a subject of trade rumblings, there were analysts who shared the thought of the Cardinals and Titans making a swap between the two safeties.

Both remain on their respective teams. But for Byard, his absence and pay-cut chatter are generating new thoughts of a change in Nashville.

Releasing Byard can save the Titans $14.1 million in cap room if he’s a post-June 1 move. A trade, especially if done by the November deadline, could potentially add extra future draft options as the Titans are set at just five picks for 2024. With Byard absent, the Titans have a new star situation to address with minicamp and training camp on deck.

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Are the Philadelphia Eagles a Top-5 Defense Heading Into 2023?




The Philadelphia Eagles were oh, so close to becoming Super Bowl champions for the second time over the past decade in 2022, and it’s because of the balance of power they possessed between offense and defense. The Eagles had the most efficient and dominating run game in the NFL, with the league’s best passing defense in both EPA and DVOA metrics.

But with so much turnover on the defensive side of the ball, can the Eagles’ defense push to be a top-five unit again in 2023, or are they destined for some defensive regression?

Philadelphia Eagles Defense Sees Several Changes

The changes made are what matters. Monetarily speaking, it was always going to be difficult for Howie Roseman to retain the level of talent he accumulated on the defensive side of the ball a season ago. Philadelphia loaded up, yet they also lost several key pieces from last season.

But that was likely the plan the whole time. Jonathan Gannon was not long for Philadelphia. Whether Eagles’ fans believe he’s a good defensive coach or not is of little consequence because the league adored the defensive coordinator, and he moved on to Arizona to be a head coach.

Sean Desai began his coaching career in Philadelphia, and now he’s back in the city that started it all for him.

“The honest truth is this is an emotional kind of homecoming for me to come back to Philadelphia,” Desai said. “There’s a lot of pride that we take in this city. My wife went to school here (at Temple). I went to school here. I started my coaching career here … down the road, and we helped turn that program around there.”

MORE: Best Cornerbacks in the NFL 2023

Seeing personnel turnover when the coordinator and overall philosophy change is not inherently bad. But let’s take a look at some of the key departures and arrivals amongst the Eagles’ defense.

  • Eagles Departures
    • S C.J. Gardner-Johnson
    • DT Javon Hargrave
    • LB T.J. Edwards
    • LB Kyzir White
    • S Marcus Epps
  • Eagles Additions
    • S Terrell Edmunds
    • LB Nicholas Morrow
    • CB Greedy Williams
    • DE Kentavius Street

That certainly doesn’t look like an even trade.

Edmunds undoubtedly improved late in his career with the Steelers and could be a nice stop-gap until someone else is ready to take over for him on the back end. Street is a larger defensive end who can play anywhere from the 3-technique out to the 5, but he obviously doesn’t hold a candle to Hargrave’s ability. Williams, meanwhile, does provide depth on the outside and might be a viable starting option in future seasons.

But losing five starters along the defensive interior between both starting linebackers, safeties, and a Pro-Bowl defensive tackle certainly isn’t easy to make up for. Yet, Desai should make Philadelphia a more schematically-sound unit, and the Georgia Eagles’ defensive front seven is nearly complete at this point.

With the offensive depth chart practically set before the draft, it was easy for the Eagles to go defense with four of their first five selections. It’s also no coincidence that three of the four played at Georgia.

Sean Desai Brings Vic Fangio-Style Defense

Kirby Smart’s defense differs from the Vic Fangio-style defense that will be played in Philly, but there are more than enough characteristics that match between the two to make Bulldogs fit right in.

Jalen Carter may very well be the best player from the 2023 NFL Draft class, and he goes to a situation with a ton of familiar faces. Nolan Smith is an outstanding fit to play the 7- and 9-techniques in Desai’s defense, where he’ll be asked to rush the passer and defend the flat, something his athletic ability allowed him to do at a functional level at Georgia.

MORE: How Do Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, and Sydney Brown Fit Sean Desai’s Defensive Philosophy?

Kelee Ringo is in the perfect situation. He won’t have to play immediately and will get to sponge off Darius Slay and James Bradberry, two outstanding veteran presences. There were some awful inconsistencies in Ringo’s tape, but if the Eagles’ staff can focus on the young man and allow him to grow slowly, he could be a great player in the future.

“We felt like this was a 20-year-old kid who was a good kid, tremendous physical tools, and we really had an opportunity to develop him,” Roseman said after the draft. “He doesn’t have to come in here and be a superhero. He can learn.”

philadelphia eagles
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

But maybe the 6-foot-2, 210-pound DB never ends up playing cornerback at all. He has the build of a safety, and his best tape came when he was able to play with his belly button to the ball.

Ringo’s also an obviously intelligent defender from a match-based zone coverage perspective, but he needs to remain focused throughout reps. He’s more than physical enough to be an active participant in run fits, which was the team’s only real sore spot in 2022 (23rd in rushing EPA). And just look at the safety depth chart.

But that’s just a theory.

Sydney Brown should also help the Eagles’ run defense as a slot/safety hybrid player. His fit and role are a tad more difficult to nail down because he’s coming from a man-heavy defense at Illinois that had him playing in the box quite a bit, but he’s a talented player who should eventually find his way.

Can the Philadelphia Eagles Be a Top-5 Defense in 2023?

When PFN NFL Analyst Arif Hasan looked at the league’s defenses, he projected Philadelphia to have the eighth-best defense in the NFL heading into 2023.

Yet, the Eagles’ schedule certainly won’t make things easy for them. Including their two games against Dallas, Philadelphia plays seven games against teams Hasan believes are top-10 offensive units heading into 2023.

MORE: 2023 Post-Schedule Release NFL Power Rankings — Eagles Still Elite

If the Eagles want to boast a top-five defense, they’ll have to get some big leaps from Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and at least one of their safeties. The middle of an NFL defense is becoming more important by the minute, and good safeties play a critical role in running this scheme successfully.

But that pass rush will remain dominant. The Eagles may not scare the sack record again in 2023, but they have a very decent chance of sacking opposing QBs more than anybody this upcoming season. Slay and Bradberry make for an outstanding duo on the outside, and the team should see better run defense with the new pieces they’ve put in place.

Philadephia may fall outside of the top five, but they’ll likely remain one of the best 10 defenses in the NFL. Paired with what could be a top-three offense, that’s more than enough to dominate in the NFC.

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Top Fantasy Options at WR Include Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, and Amon-Ra St. Brown




The wide receiver position can be one of the best positions to build your 2023 redraft fantasy football roster around, as not only do they have immense upside, but they can also be some of your most consistent producers every week. With another group of highly talented rookie receivers in the league, plus shakeups thanks to a wild offseason of moves, here are the current 2023 redraft wide receiver rankings.

2023 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings

The below rankings are intended as a guide for 0.5 PPR formats. They do not take into account individual league rules and setups.

Additionally, you can see the rest of PFN’s dynasty rankings here:
RB | TE | QB | Superflex

1) Justin Jefferson | Minnesota Vikings
2) Cooper Kupp | Los Angeles Rams
3) Ja’Marr Chase | Cincinnati Bengals
4) Tyreek Hill | Miami Dolphins
5) CeeDee Lamb | Dallas Cowboys
6) Amon-Ra St. Brown | Detroit Lions
7) Stefon Diggs | Buffalo Bills
8) A.J. Brown | Philadelphia Eagles
9) Davante Adams | Las Vegas Raiders
10) Jaylen Waddle | Miami Dolphins
11) Garrett Wilson | New York Jets
12) Chris Olave | New Orleans Saints
13) Tee Higgins | Cincinnati Bengals
14) DeVonta Smith | Philadelphia Eagles
15) Amari Cooper | Cleveland Browns
16) Keenan Allen | Los Angeles Chargers
17) Deebo Samuel | San Francisco 49ers
18) Terry McLaurin | Washington Commanders
19) DeAndre Hopkins | Arizona Cardinals
20) Tyler Lockett | Seattle Seahawks
21) Mike Williams | Los Angeles Chargers
22) Kadarius Toney | Kansas City Chiefs
23) DK Metcalf | Seattle Seahawks
24) Jerry Jeudy | Denver Broncos
25) Michael Pittman Jr. | Indianapolis Colts

26) Drake London | Atlanta Falcons
27) Christian Watson | Green Bay Packers
28) Brandon Aiyuk | San Francisco 49ers
29) DJ Moore | Chicago Bears
30) Chris Godwin | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
31) Christian Kirk | Jacksonville Jaguars
32) Mike Evans | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
33) Calvin Ridley | Jacksonville Jaguars
34) Diontae Johnson | Pittsburgh Steelers
35) Treylon Burks | Tennessee Titans
36) Jahan Dotson | Washington Commanders
37) Marquise Brown | Arizona Cardinals
38) Jordan Addison | Minnesota Vikings
39) Brandin Cooks | Dallas Cowboys
40) Michael Thomas | New Orleans Saints
41) Courtland Sutton | Denver Broncos
42) Gabe Davis | Buffalo Bills
43) George Pickens | Pittsburgh Steelers
44) JuJu Smith-Schuster | New England Patriots
45) Jakobi Meyers | Las Vegas Raiders
46) Jayden Reed | Green Bay Packers
47) Allen Lazard | New York Jets
48) Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Seattle Seahawks
49) Quentin Johnston | Los Angeles Chargers
50) Odell Beckham Jr. | Baltimore Ravens

MORE: Fantasy Draft Strategy | Fantasy Scoring

51) Zay Flowers | Baltimore Ravens
52) Zay Jones | Jacksonville Jaguars
53) DJ Chark Jr. | Carolina Panthers
54) Michael Gallup | Dallas Cowboys
55 Tyler Boyd | Cincinnati Bengals
56) Chase Claypool | Chicago Bears
57) K.J. Osborn | Minnesota Vikings
58) Romeo Doubs | Green Bay Packers
59) Marquez Valdes-Scantling | Kansas City Chiefs
60) Adam Thielen | Carolina Panthers
61) Curtis Samuel | Washington Commanders
62) Van Jefferson | Los Angeles Rams
63) Nico Collins | Houston Texans
64) DeVante Parker | New England Patriots
65) Isaiah Hodgins | New York Giants
66) Donovan Peoples-Jones | Cleveland Browns
67) Jalin Hyatt | New York Giants
68) Rashod Bateman | Baltimore Ravens
69) Jonathan Mingo | Carolina Panthers
70) Darnell Mooney | Chicago Bears
71) Rashee Rice | Kansas City Chiefs
72) Russell Gage | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
73) Darius Slayton | New York Giants
74) Rashid Shaheed | New Orleans Saints
75) Alec Pierce | Indianapolis Colts

76) Skyy Moore | Kansas City Chiefs
77) Rondale Moore | Arizona Cardinals
78) Mack Hollins | Atlanta Falcons
79) Hunter Renfrow | Las Vegas Raiders
80) Jameson Williams | Detroit Lions
81) Corey Davis | New York Jets
82) Ben Skowronek | Los Angeles Rams
83) Robert Woods | Houston Texans
84) Elijah Moore | Cleveland Browns
85) Nick Westbrook-Ikhine | Tennessee Titans
86) Josh Reynolds | Detroit Lions
87) Richie James | Kansas City Chiefs
88) Braxton Berrios | Miami Dolphins
89) Tutu Atwell | Los Angeles Rams
90) Marvin Jones Jr. | Detroit Lions
91) Khalil Shakir | Buffalo Bills
92) Kalif Raymond | Detroit Lions
93) Chris Moore | Tennessee Titans
94) Kendrick Bourne | New England Patriots
95) Mecole Hardman Jr. | New York Jets
96) Allen Robinson II | Pittsburgh Steelers
97) Joshua Palmer | Los Angeles Chargers
98) Tyquan Thornton | New England Patriots
99) Kyle Philips | Tennessee Titans
100) Josh Downs | Indianapolis Colts

fantasy rankings
Photo Credit: OU Pro Day

101) Marvin Mims Jr. | Denver Broncos
102) Terrace Marshall Jr. | Carolina Panthers
103) Sterling Shepard | New York Giants
104) Jamal Agnew | Jacksonville Jaguars
105) Greg Dortch | Arizona Cardinals
106) Tim Patrick | Denver Broncos
107) Tank Dell | Houston Texans
108) Devin Duvernay | Baltimore Ravens
109) Cedric Tillman | Cleveland Browns
110) Laviska Shenault Jr. | Carolina Panthers
111) Wan’Dale Robinson | New York Giants
112) John Metchie III | Houston Texans
113) Puka Nacua | Los Angeles Rams
114) Parris Campbell | New York Giants
115) A.T. Perry | New Orleans Saints
116) Dyami Brown | Washington Commanders
117) Noah Brown | Houston Texans
118) Calvin Austin III | Pittsburgh Steelers
119) Michael Wilson | Arizona Cardinals
120) Xavier Hutchinson | Houston Texans
121) Quez Watkins | Philadelphia Eagles
122) KhaDarel Hodge | Atlanta Falcons
123) Isaiah McKenzie | Indianapolis Colts
124) Tyler Scott | Chicago Bears
125) Kayshon Boutte | New England Patriots

126) KJ Hamler | Denver Broncos
127) DeAndre Carter | Las Vegas Raiders
128) Justyn Ross | Kansas City Chiefs
129) Olamide Zaccheaus | Philadelphia Eagles
130) Nelson Agholor | Baltimore Ravens
131) Jamison Crowder | New York Giants
132) Marquez Callaway | Denver Broncos
133) Deonte Harty | Buffalo Bills
134) Parker Washington | Jacksonville Jaguars
135) Justin Watson | Kansas City Chiefs
136) Jauan Jennings | San Francisco 49ers
137) Velus Jones Jr. | Chicago Bears
138) Trey Palmer | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
139) Cedrick Wilson Jr. | Miami Dolphins
140) Marquise Goodwin | Cleveland Browns
141) Jalen Tolbert | Dallas Cowboys
142) Trent Sherfield | Buffalo Bills
143) Charlie Jones | Cincinnati Bengals
144) Dee Eskridge | Seattle Seahawks
145) Danny Gray | San Francisco 49ers
146) Equanimeous St. Brown | Chicago Bears
147) Racey McMath | Tennessee Titans
148) Jalen Reagor | Minnesota Vikings
149) Tre’Quan Smith | New Orleans Saints
150) David Bell | Cleveland Browns

Who Are the Best WRs To Draft in 2023 Redraft Leagues?

How each manager chooses to build a roster is very much an individual process, but I’m of the mindset that you can’t have enough high-end wide receivers on a redraft fantasy football roster.

If you have an early draft pick, by all means, target Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, or Ja’Marr Chase. They’re the three likeliest players to lead the position in points when it’s all said and done.

MORE: Fantasy Football Apps

That said, keep an eye on Amon-Ra St. Brown, my favorite second-round selection. Although I much preferred his draft capital last year, St. Brown has a legitimate chance to finish as the overall WR1.

He was the WR10 last year while sitting 11th in target share, third in targets/route, and fourth in yards after the catch. Touchdowns were the only hang-up. While he did score six touchdowns last year, more are on the way in 2023.

Over the first half of the season, St. Brown was 32nd in red-zone targets, but over the back half led the entire league. If that carries over, you’re looking for a double-digit touchdown upside for a receiver who has a floor of 100 receptions.

There are also some interesting teammate battles when looking at the 2023 redraft fantasy football WR rankings. As almost tradition at this point, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are barely separated from each other, but I do prefer Allen when it comes to Chargers receivers, with Quentin Johnston a borderline WR4 assuming all three are healthy.

I would also target Chris Godwin ahead of Mike Evans and Tyler Lockett ahead of DK Metcalf, which might surprise some people. Metcalf is exceptional, but he’s TD-dependent, and after a fall-off in his scores last year, is more likely to be the boom-or-bust player between the two. Lockett, meanwhile, finished with another 1,000-yard season as the WR13 overall and 17th in points per game. He’s also being valued in drafts as approximately the WR32 (80 ADP).

Some of my favorite values also pop up when we get into the WR redraft rankings a little bit. If Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney‘s ADP holds, I will likely have several shares since he’s currently ranked as my WR22. I will also likely heavily target Jahan Dotson (WR36), Jordan Addison (WR38), Jayden Reed (WR45), and Brandin Cooks (WR39), who, after a bit of a down season (WR49), could be a prime bounce-back candidate with the Cowboys, despite his age (29).

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Are the New York Jets a Top-3 Defense Heading Into 2023?




The New York Jets‘ defense was the lifeblood of their team in 2022. Despite fielding arguably the worst quarterback play in the NFL, the Jets managed to post a 7-9 record in a competitive conference and division. With Aaron Rodgers now under center in New York, the defense’s job might get a little easier. Can Robert Saleh’s unit repeat its production from last season?

The New York Jets’ Defense Was Elite in 2022

By almost any metric, the Jets’ defense was one of the NFL’s best in 2022. New York led the league in yards allowed per play (4.8), gave up the fourth-fewest points, ranked third in Football Outsiders‘ weighted DVOA, and finished sixth in expected points added (EPA) per play.

While the Jets were above-average against the run, they were dominant against the pass. General manager Joe Douglas hit two home runs at cornerback during the 2022 offseason, first signing ex-Seahawk D.J. Reed to a three-year deal before using the draft’s fourth overall pick on Sauce Gardner, who won Defensive Rookie of the Year and is already perhaps the NFL’s most impressive CB.

The Jets didn’t face the most challenging quarterback schedule last season, but they routinely stifled high-functioning offenses like the Bills, Lions, and Jaguars. After Week 3, New York’s defense only allowed one opponent — the Vikings in Week 13 — to score more than 23 points in a single game.

MORE: Who Is on the Jets’ Coaching Staff? 

The unit’s first three weeks of the year — in which they gave up 81 combined points to the Ravens, Browns, and Bengals — stand out like a sore thumb. If we take out that rough start to the season, the Jets ranked first in pass defense DVOA and second in total defensive DVOA.

Pro Football Network’s Arif Hasan placed the Jets first in his 2023 NFL defense rankings. Can New York keep it up next season?

Defense Is Unpredictable, but the Jets Are a Good Bet in 2023

Defensive performance in the NFL is inherently volatile. Even when a team was outstanding the year prior and brings back nearly all its significant contributors (like the Jets), it’s worth wondering whether the unit’s output will be sustainable.

In 2019, FiveThirtyEight’s Josh Hersmeyer found that many defensive metrics — such as DVOA, sacks, and interceptions — often have little to no correlation year over year. Impactful plays like turnovers often turn out to be the least reliable.

MORE: New York Jets 2023 Schedule

However, the Jets’ defensive production wasn’t inherently luck-based in 2022. They didn’t create an absurd number of takeaways — they ranked 29th in the league in turnovers and 28th in turnover rate. And they ranked better in more stable metrics like quarterback knockdown rate (first) and pressure rate (third).

Moreover, New York’s defense should benefit from the addition of Rodgers and the prospect of an improved offense. Gang Green’s offense regularly put their counterparts in poor positions by failing to move the ball or manage extended drives. Last year, New York’s opponents’ average drive started at their own 29.9-yard line, tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL.

The Jets will bring back nine of 11 defensive starters next season, including edge rusher Carl Lawson — thought to be a cut candidate before agreeing to a pay cut — and linebacker Quincy Williams, who re-signed on a three-year deal. New York also enjoys continuity on the coaching staff, where Saleh will call plays for the third consecutive season while Jeff Ulbrich serves as defensive coordinator.

But the Jets didn’t rest on their laurels, often a fatal flaw of accomplished teams or units. Douglas drafted another edge rusher to add to his front, selecting Iowa State’s Will McDonald IV with the 15th overall pick. New York also replaced safety Lamarcus Joyner — arguably the weak link of the Jets’ 2022 defense — with trade acquisition Chuck Clark, who should represent an immediate upgrade.

While there are a lot of talented defenses in the NFL, the Jets have as good of a chance as any team at posting a top-three unit in 2023 — and there’s a decent chance they’ll emerge as the single-best defense in the league.

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