The Detroit Lions have traded three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles. But did they give him away for too little compensation?
The biggest move of the Detroit Lions offseason has just been made. The Lions traded cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third and fifth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. But was that enough compensation for the three-time Pro Bowler?
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, those exact selections are No. 85 and No. 166 in the upcoming draft. This move now gives Detroit four selections in the Top 100 and an opportunity to stock their team with young, relatively inexpensive talent.
Yet, a third and fifth-rounder seem like pennies on the dollar in exchange for one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL and arguably the Lions’ top defender. But you have to consider three things: Slay’s age, play, and price tag.
The reason the Lions were shopping the 29-year old cornerback in the first place is Slay was looking for a raise. Last offseason, the veteran skipped OTA’s and minicamp in an attempt to force Detroit into giving him an extension despite having two-years left of a four-year, $48 million extension he signed in 2016.
Now, consider Slay’s play from last season. Despite being elected to his third-straight Pro Bowl, football analytics website Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 56.4, the lowest since his rookie season back in 2013. Last year, Slay recorded 46 total tackles, 13 pass defends, and two interceptions. The latter being his lowest pick total since 2016.
Finally, coming off a down-season and turning 29-years old in January, the Eagles still agreed to make Slay something the Lions were not. And that’s the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. Philly has agreed to grant the seven-year corner a three-year, $50 million contract extension, $30 million of which is guaranteed.
The Detroit Lions reportedly agreed to sign free-agent cornerback Desmond Trufant on Wednesday to a two-year, $21 million contract with $14 million guaranteed. A Pro Bowler in 2015, the 29-year old Trufant was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, one round before Darius Slay. Now, he’ll replace Slay in Detroit.