The Detroit Lions have already made one bold trade ahead of the deadline in their defensive backfield, and they could be getting calls about making another.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions have been getting calls about cornerback Darius Slay. As Schefter explains, it would take a ton to get Slay out of Detroit, but teams that need a cornerback could be calling Detroit about their Pro Bowl player.
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.
It would likely confuse fans, as unlikely as it may seem in the moment.
Slay Brutally Honest After Diggs Deal
A major reason Slay might be on the block eventually? His frustration over the trade of Quandre Diggs. In the moment, Slay clearly wasn’t happy, and he re-affirmed that when talking to the media a few days later.
Slay, who reacted strongly in the aftermath of the move on Twitter, had more to say when the media met with him on Thursday afternoon. When asked how he was feeling about the move by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News and others, Slay responded “like (bleep).” Additionally, Slay admitted he wouldn’t ultimately rule out signing elsewhere, saying he’d play anywhere. Also, he said he didn’t feel as if there was any loyalty in football.
Slay’s unhappiness is to be expected. Him and Diggs were close, Diggs was blindsided and there will be resistance to the move even though the Lions have sound reasoning for making it happen considering the relative depth on the roster in terms of the safety position.
While it’s not likely that Slay demanded a trade, it’s possible the team saw his frustration in the aftermath.
Buy or Sell?
The Lions have to be weighing what to do at this week’s trade deadline, and moving Slay would represent an obvious sell move and send a message the team is trending in the opposite direction. At this point though, most believe the Lions will likely be buyers even in spite of everything that’s gone on.
If the Lions do indeed go for it and continue to add assets, their biggest needs currently lie along the defensive line and at running back. Detroit can’t pressure the passer, so an addition could be made to a needy defensive front that has been hampered by health and consistency issues thus far in 2019. Some names on the market the Lions could call on include Vic Beasley and Ryan Kerrigan.
At running back, the Lions will be without Kerryon Johnson for some time on the IR, so there’s a need at that spot as well. Detroit’s been mentioned as a fit for the expensive Melvin Gordon, but other names could also interest them on the market.
Either way, there are still spots the Lions could look to pursue additions to in the days ahead, but if Slay is on the block, it could change the game for Detroit.
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