Darius Slay wants to sign a contract extension this winter, and he’s putting himself in the best position possible to make that happen. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), that includes changing agents, with Slay making the move from Relativity Sports to Drew Rosenhaus’ agency, Rosenhaus Sports.
Slay, who turned 25 on New Year’s Day, was a 2013 draft pick, making him extension-eligible when the Lions’ regular season ended. Because he was a second-round pick, coming off the board 36th overall, Slay doesn’t have a fifth-year option on his rookie contract, meaning he’ll be heading into a contract year in 2016 if he and the Lions can’t work something out.
We heard back in November that Slay wanted to sign a contract extension, and while we haven’t heard the same sort of reports about the Lions’ interest in a new deal, one has to assume that the team is eager to get something done. In his third season in the NFL and second as a full starter, Slay recorded 58 tackles and a pair of interceptions, and continued to develop into one of the league’s best cornerbacks.
Pro Football Focus’ grades for corners this year rank only one player above Slay, and that player – Tyrann Mathieu – spent plenty of time at safety as well, and finished the year on injured reserve. Slay’s performance against both the pass and the run placed him slightly ahead of every other corner in the league, per PFF, including top-10 players Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson, and Chris Harris.
Slay’s contract will be one of many issues to address this offseason for new general manager Bob Quinn. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes, Quinn has an opportunity to make a major impact in his first year with the franchise, since the Lions have holes on both sides of the ball, and have the cap room necessary to be real players in free agency, if they so choose.
Slay is currently projected to earn a base salary of about $976K in 2016, with a cap hit of approximately $1.683MM.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.