Darius Slay

Latest On Lions’ Darius Slay

In the past, Darius Slay has expressed a desire to remain with the Lions – albeit, with a contract that reflects his true value. But, after two years of unfruitful extension talks, Slay would welcome a fresh start elsewhere, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link) hears. 

Earlier this week, we learned that multiple clubs have reached out with interest in the Pro Bowl cornerback. The identities of those clubs are not yet known, but we can take some educated guesses on the suitors. The Eagles, who tried to swing a pre-deadline trade for Slay after whiffing on Jalen Ramsey, have a clear need for him. The Broncos, who could be on the verge of parting ways with pending free agent Chris Harris, would also make lots of sense. Ditto clubs for the Colts – who have the cap flexibility to give Slay the deal that he wants – and the Texans.

Slay has one year to go on his four-year, $48MM deal with Detroit. He’s slated to earn a base salary of $10MM this year, well below his true value. He’s not coming off of his best season, but he’s played as one of the league’s best cover men in the past. In 2017, he notched a league-leading eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed. It was near impossible to match those numbers in 2018, of course, but he still turned in a strong year with three picks and finished out as a top 25 cornerback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ metrics.

Beyond the dollar amounts, there could also be some hurt feelings between the Lions and their top cornerback. Last year, Slay was vocal about his displeasure with the club’s trade of Quandre Diggs. Later, when asked about the possibility of being traded himself, Slay said that he “personally wouldn’t care.”

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Lions Discussing Darius Slay Trade

The Lions have spoken with multiple teams about trades involving cornerback Darius Slay, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Other clubs believe that the Lions will ultimately wind up moving the Pro Bowler, Schefter hears, but the Lions are insistent on getting fair value in return. 

The Lions might not have much in the way of leverage. Slay is entering the final year of his contract and it appears that extension talks have stalled. Any team that acquires the Pro Bowler would have to cough up a significant amount of draft capital and give Slay a new deal that would reflect his place as one of the league’s top cornerbacks.

As it stands, Slay has one more year to go on his deal at $10MM. That’s well-below the going rate for a CB of his caliber – Slay is in position to ask for somewhere around $15MM over the course of a long-term pact.

Slay has expressed a desire to stay put, though he also wants to be appropriately compensated. Over the last year, the Lions have mulled the possibility of moving on from him, including a pre-deadline conversation with the Broncos about a blockbuster that would have sent Chris Harris Jr. to Detroit.

Before the deadline, the Eagles also made a serious push for Slay. Those talks did not result in a deal either, as the Lions held out for a whopper of a haul. It’s not clear exactly what the Lions were asking for, but it was enough to make the ever-aggressive Howie Roseman walk away, even after he lost out on Jalen Ramsey.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions, CB Darius Slay Still Discussing Long-Term Contract

The Lions and cornerback Darius Slay continue to discuss a long-term deal, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. However, it does not sound like the two sides are particularly close to an agreement, and Fowler says Detroit could look to trade the 29-year-old if a new contract is not in place in the coming weeks.

Of course, Slay’s name came up frequently in trade rumors in advance of October’s deadline, and he skipped voluntary and mandatory work last spring in an effort to get a new contract. He did report to training camp on time, but he was vocal about his displeasure over the team’s trade of Quandre Diggs, and shortly thereafter he said he didn’t care if he was traded himself. 

But he walked back those comments (to some degree) about a week later, saying he would be open to spending his entire career in the Motor City. However, Fowler points out that the Lions and Slay have been working on a new deal for some time, and they still seem to have a fair amount of negotiating to do.

Since he plays a premium position and just earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod, Slay is surely aiming for a contract that will put him near the top of the CB market. That would mean a yearly rate of about $15MM and guarantees in the $40-50MM range. Slay’s current contract, which expires at the end of next season, would pay him $10MM in salary in 2020, with workout and roster bonuses that could push that figure closer to $10.5MM

In 2019, Slay picked up two interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 46 tackles.

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Broncos, Lions Discussed Chris Harris Jr., Darius Slay Swap

The Broncos and Lions are playing Sunday afternoon, and they apparently discussed a potential blockbuster trade a couple of months back. The teams discussed a swap of cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Darius Slay, sources told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link).

We had heard that the Lions were the only team to make a formal offer for Harris, but this is the first we’ve heard of Slay being included in those discussions. Klis adds that Detroit was asking for more in addition to Harris, which killed the talks. When big name players get traded in the NFL it’s usually for draft picks, so a deal centered around two star players of the same position would’ve certainly been unusual. Harris originally demanded a trade or extension back around the draft, which resulted in a weeks-long standoff between the two sides.

There were murmurs of a potential deal during draft weekend, but eventually Denver agreed to give him a raise on his 2019 salary while not adding on any additional years. As the Broncos once again got off to a losing start, his name came up in trade talks at the deadline.

The Eagles pursued Slay heavily at the deadline, but a deal couldn’t get done. We didn’t hear anything about him heading to the Broncos, although reports at the time indicated the Lions’ asking price was sky-high. Both corners are having down years, and while Harris is going to enter unrestricted free agency, Slay still has one more year on his deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Darius Slay “Wouldn’t Mind” Staying With Lions

Lions cornerback Darius Slay says he “wouldn’t mind,” staying put, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. This comes just after a long stretch of trade speculation surrounding the 28-year-old and a week full of rumors linking him to the Eagles. 

I wouldn’t mind playing my whole career here,” Slay said. “Who wouldn’t want to just play on one team? But it’s a whole business. Can’t have your hopes up.”

Things haven’t necessarily been rosy between the Lions and Slay as of late. The cornerback was irate after the club traded starting safety Quandre Diggs to the Seahawks for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick, which likely prompted the Lions to start shopping him. During all of that, the Lions made an offer for Broncos star Chris Harris, who would have stepped in as his replacement.

When asked if he was hoping for a fresh start somewhere else, Slay expressed indifference:

I don’t care,” he said. “I’m a millionaire, dude.”

Slay, who is midway through his seventh pro season, is under contract through 2020 under the four-year, $48MM deal he signed back in 2016. For now, he’s with the 3-3-1 Lions, but it’ll be a situation to monitor in the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Lions, Darius Slay

Lions cornerback Darius Slay has been involved in trade rumors, but it’s starting to sound like Slay might stay in Detroit. The Lions have set an extremely high asking price for the 28-year-old, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears, and that might be a barrier to a deal getting done. 

[RELATED: Eagles Pursuing Lions’ Darius Slay]

The Eagles were said to be “working hard” on a Slay trade this week, which makes sense given their failed pursuit of Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. However, as Garafolo notes, the Eagles were only willing to go so far for Ramsey, who is much younger than Slay. Alas, Detroit’s price might be too high, even for Eagles GM Howie Roseman, who has a serious tolerance for risk and an affinity for major trades.

Slay, a two-time Pro Bowler, notched eight interceptions in 2016. He hasn’t matched that unreal level of production since, but he still rates as one of the better available cornerback options as the deadline draws near. On the flipside: He ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 52 cornerback this year, a far cry from Pro Bowl level play.

For his part, Slay would probably welcome a fresh start. Or, at least, that’s what he said in the immediate wake of the Quandre Diggs deal that shipped his friend to the Seahawks.

The Lions extended Slay in 2016 with a four-year, $50.2MM deal. He’s got one more full year on that pact, with a $10MM base salary coming to him in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Pursuing Lions’ Darius Slay

The Lions have received calls on Darius Slay, and Albert Breer of SI.com reports they have made the veteran cornerback available. A team in a similar NFC position is pursuing him.

Having finished second in the Jalen Ramsey sweepstakes, and having pursued Chris Harris, the Eagles are “working hard” on a Slay trade, Chris Mortensen said during a SportsCenter appearance (via SI.com). However, the Lions are setting a “very, very high” price.

In hopes of landing a third Lions contract, Slay held out from the team’s offseason program. He was unsuccessful in his extension pursuit and reported to training camp on time. Detroit extended its other offseason holdout, Damon Harrison, during camp. But nothing has emerged on the prospect of another Slay re-up.

The Lions extended Slay in 2016 to a four-year, $50.2MM deal. Unlike Harris, he has another year remaining on his contract. Coupled with Detroit’s standing in the NFC playoff picture, that will allow the Lions to hold out for a strong offer. However, after the Lions traded Quandre Diggs to the Seahawks last week, Slay said he would not object to being traded himself. Slay, 28, is due a $10MM 2020 base salary.

Slay is a two-time Pro Bowler who grades as Pro Football Focus’ No. 52 corner this season. He picked off eight passes in 2016. The Eagles have struggled against the pass this season but have Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills back in action. Howie Roseman did not address this position over the offseason, but the rumors connecting Philadelphia to Ramsey and Harris point to the team recognizing a need remains. With another report indicating an Eagles splash move may be coming, the possibility of a cornerback being added to the roster certainly exists.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Hopkins, Slay, Hooper

The trade deadline is two days away, so there are plenty of rumors to pass along. Of course, many of those rumors center around this year’s non-contenders, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that two such teams — the Redskins and Bengals — continue to rebuff inquiries concerning veterans who should be available. Rival GMs have grown increasingly frustrated with Washington and Cincinnati, and La Canfora says opposing clubs have become resigned to the fact that they are not going to be able to swing a deal with those obstinate franchises. That means that a number of big names — Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, A.J. Green, and Carlos Dunlap, to name a few — are looking more and more likely to stay put.

Now for more trade rumors from around the league, starting with another nugget out of Cincinnati:

  • Michael Lombardi of The Athletic agrees that the Bengals are likely to stand pat at the deadline for the most part, but he does believe the club will move tight end Tyler Eifert.
  • Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is decidedly not on the trading block, but teams have still called Houston to ask about the star wideout, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets. That obviously sounds like clubs doing their due diligence more than anything else, and Glazer acknowledges that it would take an awful lot for the Texans to move Hopkins.
  • The Lions have received calls on CB Darius Slay, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It would take a big offer to pry Slay from Detroit, but in the wake of Slay’s comments earlier this week, maybe the Lions will be more inclined to move him.
  • RB-needy teams have called the Seahawks to inquire on Rashaad Penny, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (video link). Penny is not on the block, per se, but the 2018 first-rounder is drawing interest. In the same video, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says Chargers RB Melvin Gordon could also be on the move.
  • Schefter reports that the 49ers have received calls on backup QB C.J. Beathard, whom Schefter suggests could be on the move.
  • The Falcons have fielded calls on DT Tyeler Davison, per Lombardi, but Atlanta has told other teams Davison will not be moved. The team is also going to hang on to TE Austin Hooper, as Schefter tweets.
  • The Giants are likely to cut Nate Solder after the season, so Lombardi believes Big Blue should go ahead and trade him now (though HC Pat Shurmur, whose job could be in jeopardy, would likely resist such a move). The Browns continue to be in the market for OT help, as Schefter writes, and the Patriots may also be interested in a reunion with Solder. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says Solder was not a viable option for Cleveland as of the middle of last week, but that could change in the next couple of days.
  • Janoris Jenkins is another member of the Giants who could be on the move, and while he is likely open to joining a contender, he just wants New York to be transparent with their plans for him, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes. That sentiment was also expressed by former Giants like Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr., who both felt as though Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman were not straightforward with them. Dunleavy names the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Jenkins.
  • Interest remains heavy on Broncos vets Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe, as La Canfora writes. Denver is open to moving Harris and Wolfe, and rival GMs expect the Broncos to make those trades happen.

NFC Rumors: Saints, Slay, Adams, Eagles

Sean Payton did not name his Week 8 starting quarterback, indicating a decision on Drew Brees‘ Week 8 status will not come until at least Saturday. The Saints‘ starting quarterback has lobbied to play Sunday against the Cardinals and worked in three limited practices this week. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has fared well in his workout sessions available to the media this week, per The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell, who would be surprised if Brees didn’t start this week (Twitter link). Brees has missed the past five Saints games with a thumb injury; Teddy Bridgewater has piloted the team to five wins in that span. New Orleans has a bye next week, so it still wouldn’t be too shocking if Brees was held out until Week 10.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Alvin Kamara worked in a limited capacity twice this week. Listed as questionable, the Saints running back may also see the team’s upcoming bye week affect his status. Kamara is battling an ankle injury, which sidelined him last week.
  • Lions players were not thrilled that the team traded away locker room favorite Quandre Diggs, and Darius Slay was especially vocal about his displeasure. Slay, whose contract expires after the 2020 season, has previously said that he wants to remain in Detroit long-term. However, his tone changed this week when asked about the subject. “Anybody can get traded. I personally wouldn’t care,” Slay said of the possibility of the team trading him (via Pro Football Talk).
  • The Lions’ Week 8 injury report indicates the world will have to wait for a Darius Slay-Darius Slayton matchup. Detroit’s top cornerback will miss the Lions-Giants game due to a hamstring injury. Slay has battled this issue since Week 3. Second-year UDFA Mike Ford started in Slay’s place against the Chiefs, the one game the Pro Bowler missed, and will likely do so against New York.
  • Davante Adams looks set to miss a fourth game due to the turf toe issue he’s encountered. The Packers declared their top wide receiver doubtful to face the Chiefs. Green Bay’s bye is not until Week 11. This continues to be a situation to monitor for one of the NFC favorites.
  • Recently released by the struggling Eagles, Orlando Scandrick believes he was scapegoated for the team’s woes, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays (Twitter link). “The problem in Philadelphia is much, much deeper than me,” Scandrick said. The Eagles have released the veteran cornerback twice this year.

Chris Crouse contributed to this report.

Injury Updates: Brees, Ryan, Apple, Slay, Johnson

The latest injury updates from around the league:

  • Drew Brees has missed five games now, and it looks like the Saints quarterback is nearing a return. Brees said he will return to practice this week and that he hopes to play in Week 8 against the Cardinals, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That being said Brees told Triplett he’s still taking a “we’ll see” approach, so it’s far from guaranteed he suits up against Arizona. Still, he’s clearly going to be back soon. Teddy Bridgewater has gone 5-0 in his absence, so Brees’ thumb injury might end up turning out to be a blessing in disguise if it leaves him more fresh down the stretch. New Orleans picked up a big win on the road against Chicago Sunday, and their defense is playing lights out.
  • Speaking of NFC South quarterbacks, Matt Ryan left the Falcons’ loss to the Rams early with an ankle injury. Ryan was in a lot of pain and in a boot after the game, but a source said “the team does not believe the injury is serious,” per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Atlanta’s season is circling the drain as they sit at 1-6 and Dan Quinn could be fired any week, so it’s quite possible they’re cautious with Ryan. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Matt Schaub is under center next week against Seattle.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple left the Saints’ win over the Bears with a non-contact knee injury, which understandably sparked a lot of concern. The “initial belief” is that Apple hyperextended his knee, according to Nick Underhill of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s unclear how serious the injury is and he could certainly still miss some time, but fortunately it doesn’t sound like an ACL tear. Apple has started every game for New Orleans this season, and is a key part of their defense. This one will be important to monitor.
  • Star cornerback Darius Slay and running back Kerryon Johnson both left and were ruled out of the Lions’ loss to the Vikings. There hasn’t been much of an update on either, but Slay’s was a hamstring and Johnson’s was a knee. Slay missed one game with a hamstring injury earlier this year, so it sounds like he aggravated that. Johnson missed six games with a knee injury last season, so this is obviously troubling. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.