Darius Slay recently signed a contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. Just two days ago, several US pundits were reporting that the cornerback would be released. How did this spontaneous turnaround come about?
“Nothing but love for Philly! Let’s see where it goes next.”
That’s the tweet Darius Slay put out Wednesday morning, hinting at his departure from Philadelphia. Numerous US pundits such as “ESPN” reporter Adam Schefter then reported the cornerback’s imminent departure. Slay and the Eagles have been unable to agree on a new contract.
Darius Slay: Surprising Turnaround
Not 24 hours later, Slay had a new contract – but no new team. “I’m back like I never left. Let’s do it again,” the 32-year-old wrote, likely referring to another Super Bowl run by the Eagles.
Back like I never left!!! Run it back
– Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 16, 2023
It was a short as well as wild road that led Slay to stay in Philly. What had happened?
Philadelphia Eagles were ready to let Slay go
Even before the official start of free agency, the Eagles gave their cornerback permission to talk to other teams about a possible trade. According to Slay, however, he never asked for that permission himself.
After his initial tweet, however, it seemed clear that the 32-year-old would not be completing his third year with the Eagles and would instead be leaving the franchise. According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, the release should have been completed after June 1 so the team could have saved about $17.5 million in cap space for the upcoming season.
Slay was traded to Philadelphia from the Detroit Lions in 2020 and signed for $50 million. He was to get 17 of that in his third year as a base salary, though that no longer included guaranteed money. By the start of Free Agency, however, both parties were said to have failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion in negotiations.
Darius Slay: Puzzle Piece of Eagles Defense
But vice president and general manager Howie Roseman must have found the right incentive to convince Slay to stay after all. The veteran ultimately extended for three years and $42 million - 23 of which is guaranteed. Slay gets his money and the Eagles keep another important piece of their defensive puzzle.
Slay was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons, and this past season he collected three interceptions, defended 14 passes and reached the Super Bowl with the Eagles after a 14-3 record in the regular season.