Once the Lions signed Desmond Trufant, the secret was out. Someone was going to trade for Darius Slay.
Slay, who wants to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league, has been itching to get out of Detroit. He recently changed his Twitter photo to the Oakland Coliseum, an ode to the Raiders. And he has been poking fun at people all day on social media about the possibility (and Slay seems happily ready to move on) of a trade. The front-runners appeared to be the Raiders.
Then, late Wednesday night, there were reported talks of Slay heading to the Eagles as the sticking point of a three-year extension was being worked out. Remember, Slay has gone on record saying he wants to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league. That figure could be in the neighborhood of $17 million per year.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman has been hearing all week for the franchise’s lackadaisical approach to free agency. Philadelphia inked arguably the steal of free agency in Javon Hargrave but purposefully glanced over more glaring needs at cornerback, safety and wide receiver. If the Eagles pull off a last-minute heist for Slay, those pitchforks will be put down in a hurry. The 29-year-old Slay will solve a world of problems in the Eagles’ secondary, plus prove Philly means business.
Slay Arguably Best Cornerback in NFL?
The debate over the best cornerback in the NFL probably goes through the AFC East first, with Stephon Gilmore and Tre’Davious White. After that, it gets a little murkier with the likes of Patrick Peterson, Chris Harris, Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey. And then, what about Darius Slay?
Slay, arguably the best cornerback in the NFC since 2014, had a relatively down year in 2019 by his standards after qualifying for three straight Pro Bowls. The 29-year-old allowed 14.1 yards per catch when targeted and only recorded eight pass breakups in 2019, numbers that are both career-lows. According to Pro Football Focus, Slay gave up 689 receiving yards and last year graded out at 56.9 in coverage. Neither number is impressive and register as his worst grade since his rookie year.
Eagles Desperate for Cornerback Help
It’s been an intense day in Philadelphia as cornerback after cornerback has signed with a new team. Desmond Trufant, gone. Chris Harris, gone. Trae Waynes, gone. Eli Apple, gone. Then, Darius Slay started stoking the trade fires on social media and it became apparent he might be on the move. The Eagles need to pounce, especially after a report came out saying the two sides were working on a long-term contract.
Slay makes complete sense in Philly — and might alleviate the blow of losing Malcolm Jenkins to a still-reeling fan base. Jenkins may have been older and more expendable but his leadership was undeniable. If the Eagles do complete a trade for Slay, it might just be because of all that extra money they saved by letting Jenkins walk. Instead, they used it on what they hope will be the franchise’s shutdown corner for at least a three-year window.
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