Analyst Suggests Lions Strike Major Trade With AFC Team

Darius Slay

Getty Darius Slay warming up before a game.

The Detroit Lions have plenty of moving parts set to dominate this coming offseason, and one of the bigger cases they will have to solve has to do with cornerback Darius Slay.

There’s been trade rumors for recent months swirling with Slay, and a columnist has suggested a destination for Slay this offseason. Mike Klis of 9News.com penned a piece about what the Denver Broncos should look at doing this offseason, and as he said, Slay has to be a major priority.

Klis suggested a deal for either Slay or A.J. Bouye, and said he thinks the Broncos should give up merely a third round pick or worse for the players. Here’s a look at what he wrote about that in the piece:

“Slay is terrific, at least he was in week 16 of the 2019 season when he held Broncos’ No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton to 41 yards.

At the trading deadline last October, the Broncos first offered Harris Jr., who turns 31 in June, a two-year, $25 million contract. The biggest problem from Harris’ point of view was only the first year (the upcoming 2020 season) and $12.5 million was guaranteed.

When Harris declined, the Broncos shopped him and found one team interested – the Detroit Lions, who were willing to move Slay’s contract so long as they got a decent return. The problem was besides the Harris-Slay swap, the Lions also wanted a high-round draft pick, as 9NEWS reported in December. No deal.

Slay, 29, has one year and $10.47 million left on his contract. Considering his contract situation, the Broncos may be able to get Slay for one of their three, third-round draft picks.

Same with Jacksonville’s tall corner A.J. Bouye, who turns 29 in August and has two years at roughly $13.5 million each left on his deal.

To those who think Slay and Bouye are worth more than a third-round draft pick – not with those pricey, short-life contracts they’re not.”

Interestingly, as is pointed out, the Lions had interest in Chris Harris at the deadline. Denver didn’t budge, but Harris is now a free agent. Would the Lions bring Harris into the mix as a veteran to compensate if they made a potential Slay trade? It is worth monitoring. This offseason, folks have already predicted the Lions could make a run at Harris.

Dealing Slay would be a big move for the Lions, especially if they gave him up for a third round pick or worse. Potentially, however, the Lions might not be able to do better in a trade.


Darius Slay Lions’ Extension Rumored

The cornerback was rumored to be on the move prior to the trade deadline, but a deal never panned out. Slay has been open to the idea of staying, and that could be just what the Lions are currently working on at this point in time.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Lions have been working with Slay to try and get an extension done. Nothing has happened yet, and the parties have been trying to hash out a deal for a while.

As Fowler explains, the Lions could choose to deal Slay in the event that they do not get a deal done. In other words, stay focused on this case in the coming weeks and months.

Slay himself has maintained he wants to stay in Detroit, but will be willing to roll with the punches no matter what happens.


Deion Sanders Wants Darius Slay With Lions

Speaking at the Super Bowl with MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke, Deion Sanders admitted that the Lions need to step up with Slay and get a deal done to pay the man for being one of the best cornerbacks in the league.

Here’s a look at what he said:

“So perhaps it should come as little surprise that Prime thinks the Lions should extend Darius Slay, a gifted, three-time Pro Bowl cornerback who has also rankled this regime with his personality.

“Yeah, he is (worth the extension),” Sanders told MLive last week at the Super Bowl. “He’s one of the best in the game, right? He’s a Pro Bowler, right? I think they should.”

Sanders thinks splitting with Slay would be a mistake for a team that needs more defensive playmakers, not fewer, and Detroit should be building around him, not replacing him. Slay is hoping that happens too, already reaching out to prized Ohio State cornerback prospect Jeff Okudah.

“(Slay’s) good, man,” Sanders said. “One of the best in the game. I hope they can get another guy out there who can oppose him on the other side.”

Finding help for Slay if the team is able to agree to a new deal would be huge as well. From Jeffrey Okudah to Chris Harris, some names have already been rumored to be in the mix to help the Lions out.

A key component is figuring out what to do with Slay first and foremost, and as Sanders rightly presumes, the Lions should work hard to keep him in the mix.


Darius Slay Stats

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 a few months ago.

There’s simply no doubting the importance of him to the team in both the short and the long term. For that reason, keeping Slay around should be a slam dunk.

That won’t stop folks from suggesting potential deals for the Lions to make, however.

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