Darius Slay made big strides in 2014 and so far this offseason he has been telling everybody willing to listen that 2015 is going to be the year where he rises to the top. Prior to Stephen Tulloch‘s charity softball game on Friday night, Slay was still talking about his expectations.
“I’m going to be great,” Slay said. “Good is not acceptable this year for me. I have to be great.”
When the Detroit Lions selected Slay in the 2013 NFL Draft, they were confident they were getting a physical cornerback who would eventually be able to matchup against the best receivers in football. During his rookie season, Slay went through some major growing pains on the football field and at many times looked like he did not belong.
Following his rookie season, Slay worked hard to improve his game and it paid off in 2014. Throughout the season, he became better and better and by the time the playoffs rolled around Slay had become a solid contributor on a very good Lions defense.
Slay started all 16 games for the Lions in 2014 and his fellow teammate Rashean Mathis can see a very bright future for the third-year cornerback out of Mississippi State.
“He could be the future of this franchise,” Mathis said, “and there’s not too many people you can say that about.”
Slay looks to have a big season in 2015, which will be the final season before his contract year in 2016. There is no doubt that he will cash in big if he becomes a dominant player, but that is not the only thing on his mind.
“It’s going to come when it comes,” he said. “Whoever does it — whoever pays me — I’m just playing ball. I love where I’m at, I love my teammates and I just want to play ball. I just want to be the best at what I do.
“It ain’t all about the money. I just love to compete and play the game.”
If Slay does, in fact, become a great player like he says he will, let’s hope it’s the Lions who open up their checkbook. If not, we could be looking at yet another superstar free agent who leaves Detroit.