Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the news that the Philadelphia Eagles never officially released Darius Slay, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported.
Darius Slay will have no shortage of offers now that he’s a free agent.
Only one potential offer — a deal with the New York Giants — would give both the team and the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback a shot at revenge.
Both sides might want a little payback. For Slay, his contract overtures reported by The MMQB’s Albert Breer and ESPN’s Dianna Russini weren’t just rebuffed. They directly led to the Eagles re-signing former Giants CB James Bradberry to a reported three-year, $38 million deal — and then cutting Slay for the savings. That has to sting.
For the Giants, it wouldn’t be just a solid football move. It’d be a karmic eye poke to the Eagles, the rivals who swooped in last offseason when the Giants had to cut Bradberry — and didn’t cease to remind them at every turn.
Here’s how the move would make sense for both Slay and the Giants:
Why Darius Slay Makes Sense for the Giants
The Giants entered this offseason at a team-building crossroad. It’s clear which way they chose to turn now.
Quarterback Daniel Jones received a major extension. Running back Saquon Barkley was franchise tagged. And the team has been aggressive in adding players like tight end Darren Waller and linebacker Bobby Okereke. General manager Joe Schoen wants to win now; it doesn’t get more win-now than adding Darius Slay.
The state of the cornerback depth chart suggests that’s a wise mentality. Schoen has attempted to address the spot in the draft with rookie Cor’Dale Flott. He tried to sign players like Nick McCleod and Fabian Moreau off the waiver wire. The era of “shopping for minimum players” is now over; Schoen told reporters he’s ready to find impact players.
Signing Slay would signal more than just competitive spirit in these Giants. It’d be a shot across the proverbial bow to the Eagles, the team that snatched Bradberry up immediately last offseason and built a Super Bowl roster around him.
The message: You liked it when you took our cornerback? That’s what we’re doing to you. And the NFC East isn’t a one-horse race anymore.
Why Giants Makes Sense for Darius Slay
At age 32, Slay was still Pro Football Focus’ 13th-best cornerback. He’s ranked higher than younger stars like the Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey and the Panthers’ Jaycee Horn.
He was looking for a reward and found a release instead. But the Giants are set up to hand Slay the reported end-of-career payday he’s looking for.
The Giants currently have $1.75 million in cap space, per Spotrac; Slay was slated to scheduled to make almost 10 times that number as the NFL’s highest paid corner in 2023. To bridge any potential gap, Sports Illustrated’s Patrica Traina suggests dipping into the Giants’ “fluid” cap situation.
That’s not all: Schoen can uncover more money by extending Saquon Barkley, according to SNY.tv’s Connor Hughes.
Slay was perhaps too vocal about Bradberry’s New York departure than Giants fans would enjoy That loyalty got him replaced by the very player he was gassing up and put in nearly the exact same position.
He’ll need to ask himself if there’s a better landing spot out there than New York. Martindale’s defense is aggressive, Jackson’s in place to handle faster receivers, and there’s money to spend.
As a cherry on top, he can play the Eagles at least twice a year and do what he once did for Bradberry, reminding them of exactly what they’re missing out on.