The Detroit Lions are thinking about trading cornerback Darius Slay, and the potential for that move to happen is only increasing in the coming days.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Lions are expected to trade Slay in the coming days or weeks. That comes on the heels of the team hunting for cornerbacks in free agency, which is a spot the team figures to make a priority when the bidding opens up eventually.
Potential players the Lions could chase are Byron Jones, which has previously been rumored, and also Logan Ryan, a player the team has a connection to given Matt Patricia.
The potential for a Slay deal has been rumored for weeks, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that Slay was coming up in talks frequently and could be on the move. Obviously, if the Lions make a move to sign a big dollar cornerback, the odds of Slay sticking around would plummet significantly.
Deion Sanders Wants Darius Slay With Lions
Even though it is now looking less and less possible, 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, even though it doesn’t seem to be likely.
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. Apparently, the chances of that move remain great in the end.