Darius Slay

Latest On Giants WR Darius Slayton

Darius Slayton recently generated some interest around the NFL, but it sounds like he’ll be staying in New York for at least Week 1. Giants GM said the wide receiver will be on the team for the start of the season, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Darius Slayton Generating Trade Interest]

Slayton never appeared to be in the long-term plans of the new Giants regime. The wideout was shopped before the draft, and he was buried on the depth chart by the time the Giants hit the practice field. Still, he managed to secure a roster spot, and for the time being, he’ll slide in behind Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, David Sills, and rookie second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson on the depth chart.

With Slayton appearing to be on the outs in New York, we heard recently that several teams had reached out to the Giants about a trade. While the 25-year-old is temporarily staying put, he could continue to be a popular name in trade chatter, especially if the Giants struggle. Slayton is due a $2.54MM base salary in 2022, a reasonable salary if a suitor has a role for him.

Slayton found himself in and out of the Giants starting lineup through his first three seasons in the NFL, but he’s shown flashes. Following a productive rookie campaign that saw him finish with 48 receptions for 740 yards and eight touchdowns, Slayton followed that up with 50 catches for 751 yards in 2020. However, he took a step back in 2021, finishing with career-lows in receptions (26), receiving yards (339), and touchdowns (two).

Restructured Deals: Packers, Broncos, Bills, Patriots, Giants

As free agency continues, teams will keep finding ways to open up additional cap. We’ve had a handful of reworked contracts in recent days, which we’ve compiled below:

  • The Packers opened $10.15MM in cap space by restructuring the contracts of wideout Randall Cobb (which was previously reported) and safety Adrian Amos, per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). ESPN’s Rob Demovsky tweets that Green Bay turned $5.88MM of Amos’ $7MM base salary into a signing bonus and added four void years.
  • The Broncos opened up some space via a pair of restructured deals. Wideout Tim Patrick converted $6.9MM of his roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating around $4.6MM in cap space, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter). The Broncos also converted receiver Courtland Sutton‘s $10.5MM roster bonus into a signing bonus, saving $7.875MM in 2022 cap space, per Klis (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers converted $11.765MM of wideout Robby Anderson’s 2022 pay into a signing bonus, creating $5.88MM in cap space, per Yates (on Twitter). Staying in the NFC, Yates also tweets that the Eagles converted $14.88MM of cornerback Darius Slay’s salary into a signing bonus, creating $11.90MM in 2022 cap space.
  • The Giants converted $2.63MM of kicker Graham Gano’s salary into a bonus, creating $1.753MM in cap space, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). The team also added a void year to the contract, something GM Joe Schoen was trying to avoid (per Raanan).
  • After getting traded to the Bills, quarterback Case Keenum agreed to rework his contract. Per Yates (on Twitter), Keenum reduced his base salary to $3.5MM. Another AFC East team, the Patriots, also got into the game, reducing defensive end Henry Anderson‘s base salary from $2.5MM to $1.25MM (per Yates).
  • Yates passes along three more restructures (on Twitter): the Vikings opened $6MM in cap space by reworking safety Harrison Smith‘s contract, the Bills opened $5.172MM via linebacker Matt Milano‘s contract, and the Titans opened $6.45MM via linebacker Zach Cunningham‘s contract.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Darius Slay Gives Eagles $9MM+ In Cap Room

The Eagles have an extra $9.14MM to work with this offseason, thanks to Darius Slay. The cornerback has agreed to a simple contract restructure, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Eagles Won’t Tender P Cameron Johnston]

Slay inked a three-year, $50MM extension with the Eagles shortly after last year’s blockbuster trade. With today’s move, Slay’s cap hits will grow over the course of the deal, which runs through 2023.

In 15 games last year, the 30-year-old notched 59 tackles, one interception, and six passes defensed. It wasn’t his strongest year, but it wasn’t a banner year for most on the Eagles’ defense either. In his final Lions season, Slay was a Pro Bowler for the third straight time. His best season to date came in 2017 when he came away with a league-high eight interceptions and an eye-popping 26 passes defensed.

The Eagles’ work is far from done — they’re still on track to be well over the 2021 salary cap, which will fall somewhere above $180MM.

AFC Rumors: Slay, Anderson, Browns

Not only were the Raiders in on just about every big-name free agent cornerback, they pursued a Darius Slay deal as well. In addition to offers for Byron Jones and Chris Harris, and what turned out to be a failed deal with Eli Apple, the Raiders kicked the tires on a Slay trade with the Lions, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. A trade target of multiple teams before the 2019 deadline, Slay ended up going to the Eagles for just third- and fifth-round picks. Of course, it also cost the Eagles $30MM fully guaranteed — third-most among corners.

The Raiders’ pursuit of 2020’s group of available corners points to them giving strong consideration to adding one with one of their two first-round picks, and Bair adds there is a “strong belief” corner is a high Raider priority entering the draft. As it stands now, Las Vegas is understaffed at the position.

Here is the latest from around the AFC:

  • For weeks, rumors of a JetsRobby Anderson reunion circulated. Anderson said the Jets wanted him back and that he wanted to stay. The team was reported to be eyeing an Anderson agreement — but only at a price. Anderson instead signed a two-year, $20MM Panthers deal. A report emerged this week about the four-year veteran turning down a four-year, $40MM Jets offer, but Anderson (via The Athletic’s Joseph Person, subscription required) denied such a proposal occurred. The Jets moved quickly to replace Anderson with Breshad Perriman for one year and $6MM. They will likely enter the draft with a big receiver need.
  • The Browns have shopped Olivier Vernon in trades and, as of late February, were not expected to pay him the $15.25MM salary he’s due in the final year of his contract. But a change of thinking may have occurred. The Browns are interested in Jadeveon Clowney, but unless that partnership happens, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer expects Vernon to be back with the Browns in 2020. The Browns still have Myles Garrett on his rookie deal, and Cabot adds that — be it Clowney or Vernon — they are willing to carry a big salary at defensive end next season. Vernon struggled during an injury-plagued 2019 in Cleveland, registering just 3.5 sacks and tallying 11 quarterback hits.
  • Bills GM Brandon Beane sidestepped a question centered around Stefon Diggs‘ satisfaction with his contract. On a $14.4MM-per-year deal, the Buffalo-bound wideout is the NFL’s 13th-highest-paid player at his position. Four years remain on the deal.

NFC Notes: Slay, Hurts, Cowboys, Bears

The Eagles were eyeing Darius Slay for a long time. In March, they finally got him for the cost of a third-round pick, a fifth-round pick, and a brand new three-year, $50MM deal. We heard all the way back in January that upgrading the secondary was a priority for Philly, and it looks like they could change their style of play a bit on defense. The Eagles traditionally play strictly zone under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, without a number one corner shadowing the opponent’s top receiver. Slay apparently wants to change that. “I love the challenge,” Slay said of shadowing during his introductory press call, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

I kind of ask for it a lot because the fact that I want the game on me, and I want to help win the game, and if the best route to go about it is me traveling with a guy, then I’ll do it,” he continued. “I’ve been doing it the past four or five years,” the former Lion explained, “and I’ve been very, very successful at it. If they need me to continue to do it, that’s what I’ll continue to do.” Most observers seemed to agree that the Mississippi State product’s play dropped off a little bit last season as he dealt with injury, but the Eagles’ new top corner rejected that assertion. “I had a great year, in my opinion,” Slay said of 2019. “I think I played freaking fantastic. … It was dang sure good enough to make a Pro Bowl third season in a row.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Cowboys are still waiting to close an extension with starting quarterback Dak Prescott, and while those negotiations continue they’re apparently taking a look at some of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. Dallas owner Jerry Jones conducted a video interview with Oklahoma passer Jalen Hurts, via a post on the team’s Instagram page. The Cowboys’ post offers a cool behind the scenes look at what the pre-draft process is looking like for teams in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hurts is expected by many analysts to go off the board sometime in the second or third-round, which would be pretty early for the Cowboys to be taking a backup. If they do end up picking Hurts and still don’t have a deal done with Prescott, that would certainly raise a lot of eyebrows.
  • Yesterday we passed along word that the Bears were planning on using free agent acquisition Germain Ifedi at guard, and now we have the details on his contract. Ifedi got a $137.5K signing bonus and a $910K base salary on his one-year deal, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. We figured Ifedi didn’t get too much, but this is still pretty cheap for a 25-year-old with versatility who has started 60 games the past four seasons. A first-round pick of the Seahawks back in 2016, Ifedi became a full-time starter but always underwhelmed and never lived up to his draft status. He played both tackle and guard extensively for Seattle.
  • In case you missed it, the Seahawks may only be willing to pay between $13-15MM for Jadeveon Clowney.

Contract Details: Falcons, Ryan, Eagles, Slay

Earlier this week, the Falcons restructured deals with Matt Ryan and others to carve out a bit of extra breathing room. Today, we got some additional details on that adjustment, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Here’s the breakdown: Ryan’s base pay for 2020 will go down from $8MM to $1.05MM. Meanwhile, tackle Jake Matthews will see his base number trimmed from $10.55MM to $3.55MM. In both cases, the difference was converted to a signing bonus. In effect, it doesn’t change much for either player, but it does allow the Falcons to kick the can down the road and spend more this year.

Here are more deetz from around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter:

CB Rumors: Slay, Lions, Harris, Trufant

Speaking to WJR-AM in Detroit following his trade from the Lions to the Eagles, cornerback Darius Slay didn’t hold back on his substandard connection with Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Slay, who’d been in Detroit since 2013, said Patricia told him he shouldn’t have been working out with fellow corners like Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib because those players are “elite” while Slay is simply “good,” per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News (all Twitter links).

Slay also indicated his relationship with Patricia was “destroyed” in 2018, adding that he didn’t respect Patricia as a person. Clearly, the nature of Slay’s dissatisfaction played a large role in Detroit’s decision, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link), the Lions also had no interest in handing Slay another new deal after inking him to a four-year, $48MM extension in 2016. Philadelphia, meanwhile, gave Slay a three-year, $50MM pact after acquiring him.

Here’s more on the cornerback circuit:

  • Veteran cornerback Chris Harris says he turned down a three-year offer from the Raiders before inking a two-year, $20MM deal with the Chargers, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Per Harris, he simply didn’t feel “comfortable” with the Raiders, and preferred to join a Chargers defense that already includes stalwarts like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward, and Derwin James. Harris, 30, also attracted interest from teams like the Saints, Jets, Eagles, and says he picked up “tons” of one-year offers before deciding on Los Angeles.
  • After losing Harris, the Broncos are looking into adding another cornerback, according to Troy Renck of Denver7 (Twitter link). Denver acquired A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars earlier this month to pair with incumbent Bryce Callahan, but the club could still use another defensive back, either via free agency or the draft. Jimmy Smith, Logan Ryan, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Ronald Darby are among the top corners still remaining on the open market.
  • The Falcons officially designated cornerback Desmond Trufant as a post-June 1 release. That move will allow Atlanta to spread Trufant’s dead money out over both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Trufant, of course, has already found a new home, landing a two-year, $21MM deal with the Lions.

Lions To Trade Darius Slay To Eagles

The Lions and Eagles have reached agreement on a trade that will send cornerback Darius Slay to Philly, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Eagles will send a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the Lions and give Slay the lucrative new contract he has been seeking. 

The two sides discussed a possible trade prior to the deadline last season, but were unable to come to terms. Talks picked up steam on Wednesday, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) noted.

The Eagles will give Slay a three-year, $50MM contract extension with $30MM guaranteed, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). The new deal places Slay at the top of the cornerback market; the salary is commensurate with his talent, unlike his previous deal. Slay outperformed his four-year, $48MM contract as the market advanced and he was unhappy about the prospect of playing out that final year.

Slay, 29, notched 46 tackles and two interceptions last year en route to his third straight Pro Bowl. The advanced metrics weren’t high on his work, but he’s fared much better in previous seasons. In 2018, for example, Slay ranked 23rd among 112 eligible CBs. And, in 2017, he graded out as one of PFF’s best as he hauled in a league-leading eight interceptions.

The deal leaves the Lions with a major hole to fill, but their reloaded draft stockpile should help. The deal will bring them the Nos. 85 and 166 overall picks in the draft and they now own five of the top 85 picks. Their first pick comes at No. 3 overall and they could stretch their ammo even further by trading down.

Way back on Monday, March 16th (it’s been a long week), Byron Jones became the league’s highest-paid cornerback by signing a five-year, $82.5MM deal with the Dolphins. That mantle now belongs to Slay, who clocks in with an average annual value of $16.67MM.

Lions: Everything On Table For Darius Slay

The Lions have had “good conversations” with Darius Slay‘s camp, but their saga is far from settled. When speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Lions GM Bob Quinn explained that all scenarios are being considered when it comes to the cornerback. 

[We’re] trying to explore a trade. That’s not saying we are definitely trading him,” Quinn said (Twitter link via Chris Burke of The Athletic). “We’re very much in the information-gathering phase of this.”

Quinn noted that a trade isn’t an automatic if a contract extension can’t be reached. Slay still has one more year to go on his four-year, $48MM deal, so the Lions could simply allow him to play out 2020. Still, Slay is slated to earn just $10MM in 2020 and it doesn’t seem like he’d be a happy camper under those terms. Given his performance, Slay is probably looking for something around the $15MM/year mark.

If the Lions aren’t willing to pay that price, many other teams will be. And, in recent days, several players from rival teams have taken to social media to try and court the Pro Bowler. That includes Rams standout Jalen Ramsey (Twitter link), who is daydreaming about forming one of the NFL’s most intimidating secondary duos. Meanwhile, Slay is taking a laissez-faire approach to all of the rumors.

Whatever happens, happens,” Slay told ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein recently. “I’m here to play ball.”

It’s a business so it should be looked at as a business aspect of it. If it was up to me, I would love to be here my whole career,” Slay continued. “But one thing about a lot of stuff that comes, first is my family so I’ll do what’s best for my family, for them first and put my family in great position to never have to want for nothing. So that’s my goal, and if that’s being here, I’m here. If it ain’t, then I ain’t.”