The Eagles have reportedly acquired cornerback Darius Slay from the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 3rd round pick and a fifth round pick. Philadelphia has also reportedly agreed to a contract extension with Slay that amounts to 3 years $50M with $30M guaranteed. It will make Slay the highest paid corner in the NFL in terms of money per year.
Reports: #Eagles have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with Darius Slay through 2023.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 19, 2020
Slay is 29 years old and a 7 year NFL veteran. He has made the Pro Bowl each of the last three seasons. Slay has 19 career interceptions and 104 passes defensed. He led the league in each mark in 2017 with 8 picks and 26 pass break ups.
However, his 2019 Pro Bowl nod was perhaps on reputation, as he had a noticeable down year and was hampered by a hamstring injury. Darius Slay missed two games and was limited to 2 interceptions and 13 pass breakups.
The Eagles desperately needed to upgrade their secondary, especially after deciding to part ways with Malcolm Jenkins. Slay has been a lock-down corner and was drafted under Jim Schwartz so he should know the system. However, the big question is was his 2019 a sign of decline or an injury hampered outlier?
With the trade package they gave up and the contract, the eagles are hoping it’s the former. If Darius Slay returns to form this trade is worth the picks and every penny of the contract. But there’s a big chance the Eagles paid Slay for what he was and not what he will be.
The other debate one could have about this trade is would the Eagles have been better off overpaying for Byron Jones instead of trading for Slay? If Slay had hit the open market this year, he and Jones would have been the two best corners on the market with only personal preference deciding the A or B of the two. Byron Jones is also slightly younger than Slay by about a year and a half. Slay has accomplished more than Jones, but Jones just cost money rather than money AND picks.
Nevertheless, Byron Jones was already off the board by the time the Eagles traded for Darius Slay. A healthy and productive Slay is miles better than any other corner available on the market. It is to be determined as to whether or not he lives up to his reputation and his new contract.