Darius Slay may or may not be on the trading block, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Detroit Lions are getting plenty of calls on the cornerback.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Lions have been approached by the Philadelphia Eagles who are taking a swing at acquiring Slay ahead of the trade deadline.
Here’s a look at what Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report wrote regarding what Mortensen said on the network about the chances of a Slay deal and an emerging suitor:
“They’re taking a shot at Darius Slay of the Lions, but the price tag on Slay is very, very high,” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said Monday on SportsCenter.
Mortensen noted Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris might be a “more realistic” option, but he said the Eagles are going to be “aggressive” after Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills.”
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday, the Lions have been getting calls on Slay in the lead into the 2019 trade deadline. The cornerback is currently under contract and an elite shut down option, so the price is likely to be astronomical for anyone to land him.
Big Play Talent
Slay has been elite since being a second round draft pick of the Lions back in 2013, and has developed into one of the elite shut down corners in the entire league. He’s also a star for the Lions in the community, and arguably, is one of the top faces of the franchise at this point in time.
This past offseason, Slay missed the OTA period for Detroit amid wanting a new contract. While the Lions haven’t worked anything out with him, they also haven’t closed the door on making his re-signing a priority in the future, meaning a trade is possible if the team wants to move on. Slay also had a strong reaction to the team dealing Quandre Diggs for a draft pick last week.
Such a move would likely confuse fans, as unlikely as it may seem in the moment.
Even if the Lions hold on to Slay at the 2019 deadline, the team could be aggressive with their cornerback this offseason on the open market. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, while Slay might not be traded right now, a deal could be struck next offseason to move the cornerback to a new location who might be more apt to give him a new contract.
Here’s what Birkett wrote:
“I’d be surprised if the Lions dealt Slay, their best cornerback – even if he hasn’t played at a Pro Bowl level this year – before Tuesday’s deadline. The more likely scenario is that the Lions send Slay to a team willing to give him a new contract at some point before next year’s draft.”
The contract seems to be the big sticking point with Slay. Are the Lions prepared to shell out the cash to Slay for the long term? He is 28 years old, and is theoretically in his prime. Cornerbacks, however, can have a short shelf life, especially if they get dinged up. This season, Slay has suffered a bulky hamstring, which was injured ironically enough in a game against the Eagles in September.
All that aside, hes an elite talent and a fan favorite in Detroit. Philadelphia appears set to at least make their best pitch for Slay.