Eagles To Allow Darius Slay To Seek Trade

10:52am: Slay and the Eagles had been discussing a new contract, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter). Those discussions not progressing led to the team permitting Slay to find a new home. With Slay having not requested a move, a resolution could still take place. But the chance Slay leaves Philadelphia after three seasons should be considered reasonable.

9:12am: The Eagles have three secondary starters days away from free agency. One of the two expected to return now does not appear a lock to be part of the team’s 2023 roster.

Darius Slay recently received permission to seek a trade, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets. The Eagles want to find a solution to keep Slay in town, Russini adds, but the standout cornerback will have a chance to be traded for a second time. The Eagles initially acquired Slay via trade from the Lions back in 2020.

It should be expected Slay is moved, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Slay did not ask to be traded, according to McLane, who adds the Eagles have likely approached the veteran cover man about a pay cut (Twitter links). Slay said recently he wanted an extension, but it is unclear if the team is willing to give him a second contract at this stage of his career.

One year remains on Slay’s Eagles extension, a three-year pact worth $50MM. The Eagles gave Slay that deal upon acquiring him. Slay, 32, has provided a tremendous boost to the NFC East team’s secondary, remaining one of the league’s best corners into his early 30s. The Eagles, however, have the 11th-year veteran on a high 2023 base salary ($17MM). In order to keep Slay, the team would almost certainly need to lower his cap number from its current $26.1MM place. Slay’s contract number reached this place as a result of restructures in 2021 and 2022. No guaranteed money remains on the deal.

A trade before June 1 would not make much financial sense for Philly. The team would be hit with $22MM-plus in dead money by moving Slay elsewhere before that pivotal date. A deal after June 1 would create $17.5MM in cap space — though, the team could not use any of the new funds until June.

The Eagles have been linked to hiring Matt Patricia as their linebackers coach. Slay and Patricia notoriously did not get along in Detroit. It would be incredibly odd to see a team prioritize a position coach over a productive player, so it should not be assumed that is a factor here. Patricia has not yet been hired, and the financial component will be the driver of a separation — if it ends up taking place.

The Eagles have James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps unsigned for 2023. They have identified Gardner-Johnson as a player they want to keep. Howie Roseman‘s team is frequently making splashy acquisitions and sweeping roster changes. The Eagles’ defense may look quite different in 2023, with the likes of Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham, Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards set to hit the market as well.

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