Tyrann Mathieu, Kevin Byard sound off on NFL's best safety

By Alex Butler  |  March 21, 2018 at 10:50 AM
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March 21 (UPI) -- NFL safeties Kevin Byard and Tyrann Mathieu hashed out who is the best at their position, following a slight from Deion Sanders.

On Tuesday, Sanders was on NFL Network when he said "'Honey Badger' is the best safety in the game," referring to Mathieu by his nickname.

Byard -- who was a first-team All-Pro in 2017 -- responded to the comment five minutes after it was posted on social media.

"How do you make this statement and not include the two first team AP All-Pro safeties," Byard asked. He also tagged Sanders and said he needed answers in the Twitter post.

"You're looking at who writers tell u who's the best I know who players and former players feel is the best," Sanders tweeted back. "I rest my case. You continue to be a fan and i will continue being the man."

Byard took exception to being called a "fan."

"But the numbers nor film add up," Byard tweeted. "How do you overlook guys like Harrison Smith, Earl Thomas, and Eric Berry as not being the best in the game? I never said I was the best but I'm on my way. You continue to be a fan and I will continue going to the Pro Bowl and being great."

"And if you didn't know, I am a CURRENT player who watches a ton of film so trust me, I know who's balling and who is not. Talking about be a fan."

The Tennessee Titans supported the star defender, saying they would print out Sanders' tweet for Byard.

"No need you guys," Byard replied. "It's already screenshot on my lock screen."

A cast of star defensive backs from around the league supported Byard in his beef with "Prime Time," including Eric Weddle, Casey Hayward and Jalen Ramsey.

Mathieu continued the debate late into the evening.

"Next time y'all speak on my name understand this FACT," he tweeted. "I'm one of 3 players, since I entered the league five years ago, with 300 or more tackles, 25 or more tackles for a loss and 10 or more interceptions. It seems you forgot I did all this while missing 16 games. That's a extra season...now imagine those numbers."

"I ain't never been this fired up before," he added.

"They said I lumped the numbers to make it look better, I tell them people to lump their best players stats last 5 years."

"Waits for everyone to research their player's stats. It's only me, Harrison Smith and Luke!!"

Mathieu was cut by the Arizona Cardinals this offseason. He signed with the Houston Texans on Friday.

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