The Philadelphia Eagles released veteran safety Kevin Byard on Friday, but the two-time All-Pro told ESPN Radio on Saturday that he's not ready to close the door on a return to the City of Brotherly Love.

"I still have a relationship with all the guys up there, Howie as well," Byard said. "So who knows. You have the draft coming around, free agency and things like that.  I wish all those guys the best.  I'm not going to close the door on going back to Philadelphia.  I'm not sure how things are going to shake out."

Byard's release cleared around $13 million in salary cap space for 2024, but the two sides could work on a new deal.

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The team acquired Byard in a October trade with the Tennessee Titans, which included safety Terrell Edmonds and fifth and sixth round draft picks.

Byard, who will be entering his age-31 season, said he wasn't surprised that the team decided to part ways with him.

"I've been in the league nine years, there is not a lot of things that surprise me at this point," Byard stated. "I would have liked for things to work out."

Byard said he understood that he was brought in to be the missing piece to the Eagles secondary, but that it didn't work out.  He said he thinks the reason for his release was more of a financial deal, but that he really liked the locker room and his experience in Philly.

As for what happened to the team, which started out 10-1 and finished the season losing six of their last seven games, Byard cited lack of improvement on both sides of the ball.

"We weren't really playing like our record showed," Byard explained.  Not just on one side of the ball, but overall. I don't think he made enough improvements on either side of the ball and I think that is why a let down like that happens."

So if the team wasn't improving as the season got deeper into the season, Byard didn't place much blame on head coach Nick Sirianni for the team's end of season collapse?

"I don't think that's fair.  I think Nick is a great coach, he was just in the Super Bowl.  Coaches don't fall of the ledge like that from one year to the next.  There were multiple reasons - we just did improve enough to keep up with the rest of the league."

For the 2023 season in Philadelphia, Byard had 75 total tackles and one interception. When you add in his time in Tennessee he totaled 122 tackles and three passes defended.

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