Alex Kielar | March 19th, 2020
The Philadelphia Eagles, on Thursday morning, got the help they need at the cornerback by acquiring Darius Slay from the Lions. The Eagles sent a 2020 third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions, and agreed to a three-year, $50 million extension with $30 million guaranteed. The extension makes Slay the highest-paid cornerback by annual salary in the league, his $16.7 million per year is two million ahead of Byron Jones. Jones signed with the Miami Dolphins and the Eagles turned to trading for Slay.
The 29-year-old corner fills a major hole for the Eagles at outside cornerback. Jalen Mills, who started there last year, is expected to move to safety to fill the hole Malcolm Jenkins leaves as he goes back to New Orleans. Philadelphia’s secondary got burned deep on several occasions last season and Slay is an accomplished player at that position. During his seven-year career with the Lions, he logged 347 tackles, 104 passes defended, 19 interceptions, one forced fumble, one sack, and one defensive touchdown. In 2017 he led the league with eight interceptions and 26 passes defended. Slay is reliable as he has never missed more than three games in a season, but he has dealt with some nagging issues, which was the case last season. He was 97th out of 133 cornerbacks as graded by Pro Football Focus. There were times last year he would struggle having his back to the ball, and he would get hurt a lot in the middle of games and come in and out. He probably won’t be a complete shutdown corner, but he is certainly an upgrade to the Eagles secondary.
The Eagles still have plenty of work to do, with holes at safety (now that Jenkins is gone), linebacker, and receiver. They still have eight picks in the upcoming draft to help fill those holes as they hope to return to the playoffs in 2020. Stay tuned for more Eagles updates from your resident Eagles beat writer.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images