Adam Schefter is reporting that the Detroit Lions have been having multiple conversations about trading away CB Darius Slay.
The Detroit Lions Darius Slay is the 15th highest paid cornerback in the NFL. The three time Pro-Bowler is entering the final year of his $48 million deal, and he is expecting to be paid like one of the best cornerbacks in the league. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Lions have been actively shopping Slay, and that they have spoken to multiple teams about a possible trade.
“Lions have spoken with multiple teams about a potential trade for Pro Bowl CB Darius Slay, per sources. Any team that trades for Slay would have to compensate Detroit and Slay with a new deal. Other teams believe Slay will be traded this off-season, but Lions adamant on value.” - Adam Schefter
This news really isn’t that unexpected. Anytime a player you probably can’t afford is entering the final year of deal, you will try and get as much value back from him as you can. I spoke about Darius Slay during one of my Sportscastr shows last week. The Detroit Lions are not being seen, and nor should they be seen as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They are much better than their 2019: 3-12-1 record indicated, but even with a good draft, the Lions are probably in the middle of the pact at best.
Slay will be 30 years old when his current deal expires, and making a large long term financial investment into an aging player doesn’t make sense for the long term health of the organization. Slay would live up to the demands of the contract in the early years, but all the Lions have to do is look at Josh Norman to see how the investment only pays off in the short term. I knew the Lions making that kind of investment didn’t make sense. What I didn’t know was, did the Lions let him walk in 2021 and take the pick the league would give you, or do you trade him and get the most value you can?
Getting the most you can for Slay on the trade market makes sense of the surface. If you know he’s leaving after this season, try and get what you can and just cut your losses a year early. What makes the Lions situation interesting is, both GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia are on the hot seat this season. Lions principal owner Martha Ford has made it clear to the duo that the Lions better be in the playoffs this year. Considering that both of their jobs are on the line, losing a player like Slay, who also happens to be your best defender, is a tough pill to swallow.
As Schefter is reporting the Lions want a good return back for Slay, and I’m assuming that it will probably be multiple picks with at the very least a second rounder in the mix. I doubt the Lions would be able to fetch a first, but a second round pick is not out of the question.
Slay has been showing a desire for a contract extension for over a year now. He skipped the Lions 2019 off-season workouts, and he and the Lions have been in active negotiations since the end of the 2019 season. But, it appears that those talks have stalled, and it’s been reported that they have made no significant progress, and the Lions are ready to move on for the right price.
Since 2014 Slay leads the Lions in interceptions (19) and passes defended (99). Slay has been selected to the Pro Bowl three straight times since 2017, and he was selected as a First Team All Pro in 2017 when he co-lead the NFL in interceptions along with the Tennessee Titans Kevin Byard.