5 early salary-cap cuts the Commanders could target in 2024

Could some recently released players of of use?

Kevin Byard
Kevin Byard / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could sign Kevin Byard

If the Washington Commanders fail to re-sign Kamren Curl, there are a slew of other safeties due to hit the market. A new name to that list is Kevin Byard, who was recently released by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Byard had been a mainstay in the Tennessee Titans' secondary since entering the league in 2016. He was a Pro Bowler as recently as 2021. In the middle of last season, when the AFC South team realized they were entering a rebuild, they traded the defensive back to Philadelphia for draft picks.

Byard's play may have fallen off a little bit from his prime. Washington fans also have painful memories of how quickly another star safety, Landon Collins, deteriorated in DC. But watching the veteran last season, I didn’t see any major causes for concern.

Even at 31 years old, he was a steadying presence on the field, still capable of covering ground and hitting hard. Byard would be a short-term fix as the team develops its younger safeties. He has played mostly as a deep safety in his NFL career, but he is versatile enough to play in the box effectively. He could play any deep position for the Commanders.

If new defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. wants to employ a buffalo nickel, Byard would be perfectly suited to play there. If not, he could pair up with Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler, and/or Quan Martin to provide the Commanders with a steady veteran presence.