On Wednesday, the Tennessee Titans made Kevin Byard the highest paid safety in NFL history.
Byard signed a five year extension that’s worth $70.5 million and includes $31 million in guaranteed money.
When news of the mega-extension broke, social media immediately lit up with references to hall of fame defensive back Deion Sanders.
Earlier this year, Sanders called Byard a “fan” on social media.
You’re looking at who writers tell u who’s the best I know who players and former players feel is the best. I rest my case. You continue to be a fan and i will continue being the man. #Truth https://t.co/gnpwJHjxEK
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) March 20, 2018
It’s poetic justice for Byard to become the highest paid safety in NFL history after Sanders refused to acknowledge him as one of the top defensive backs in the league.
But Byard doesn’t look at it that way. In fact, Byard is completely over the Sanders drama, telling reporters on Thursday “I don’t really want to talk about that anymore”.
Byard on Deion Sanders: All respect to the hall of famer, but I don’t really want to talk about that anymore #Titans
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) July 25, 2019
It’s understandable that Byard is ready to move past the Sanders talk. The former Middle Tennessee standout didn’t receive a $70.5 million extension because he had beef with a hall of famer. And he certainly shouldn’t be defined by it.
Byard has been one of the top defensive players in the league over the last couple of years. That’s what should define him. His extension was more than deserved.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what Sanders or anyone else thinks. Byard has let his play on the field speak for itself.
And the message has been pretty clear — Byard is an elite NFL player.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports