NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Titans veteran safety Kevin Byard started his media availability Thursday addressing the elephant in the room.

His contract dispute.

According to Byard, he planned to miss OTAs and train on his own, a decision he made after the Super Bowl and one he communicated with the Titans coaching staff. He said had nothing to do with the contract dispute between him and the front office. There was never any doubt that he would be here this week for mandatory minicamp, Byard told the media.

All of this stems from rumors of Byard being asked to take pay cut earlier this year, something he did confirm to Thursday. He made it clear that he will continue to be here for the organization he still loves just as much as when he was drafted in 2016.

Byard wanted to come back and be a leader.

“I’ll guarantee you I will not be the last player and I haven’t been a first player to come to about a pay cut,” said Byard during his first media availability this offseason. “I let my agent and organization or obviously Ran [Carthon], the GM, handle those things. I felt it was very important for myself, though, for me to come here and be a leader and be the person I’ve always been — making plays, communicating and things like that. So and that’s that’s who I’m always going to be.”

The Titans defense do a word of the week, for Byard it was ‘gratitude’. He said he’s grateful to be a Titan.

Titans OTAs resume next week.