Determining Darius Slay’s value: Pay him or trade him?

Darius Slay, Detroit Lions (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Darius Slay, Detroit Lions (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Melvin is a replacement option
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions outcome

What wasn’t discussed is what do you do at CB1 without Slay? You need someone besides Justin Coleman and Amani Oruwariye on the outside. Most likely, the Lions would sign a cover man with a lower price tag for at least the year and draft help in April, possibly Jeffrey Okudah from Ohio State.

You could bring back Mike Ford or Rashaan Melvin, who are both free agents, as well. There just aren’t great options to replace a Darius Slay. Okudah, for instance, is at least a year or two from being an elite cornerback, if he ever gets there.

While it would be nice to live in a forest of lollipops, unicorns, and magic elves, the likelihood of Slay and the Detroit Lions brass finding a win-win for everyone doesn’t seem very possible. If Darius Slay wants to win a title, get a four-year deal, and be the highest-paid player, there’s little room with what Bob Quinn can offer him.

Quinn could try to make the argument that they’re a contender with better health and Slay in the fold. He could spend a big chunk of Detroit’s  estimated $45 million in 2020 cap space on a bigger deal.

Would it be in the Lions’ best interests to extend Slay to age 32 or 33, though? Would the Detroit Lions have the room to contend for a division title with a $17 million dollar salary, a likely $10 million in new spending with bonus, in 2020?

Is letting a potential lame-duck general manager with an ultimatum to win this season the right person to make this decision?