One of the biggest questions for the Detroit Lions heading into this offseason was what would happen with Pro Bowl cornerback, Darius Slay? We now know the answer to that question as Slay left the Motor City to sign a 3-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Throughout the process, Slay made comments that he would be more than happy to finish his career in Detroit if the Lions were willing to give him a contract extension that would pay him market value. Lions’ GM Bob Quinn, on the other hand, made it clear that he was trying to trade Slay and that’s exactly what he ended up doing.
That being said, Slay’s new contract details have emerged and the numbers show the Eagles are not too committed past the 2021 season.
From the #Eagles perspective Slays's deal is really a 4 year deal worth a bit over $15M a year with most of it backloaded. Its a pretty good contract for Philly all things considered.
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 25, 2020
Here is the structure of Slay’s contract with the Eagles. As you can see, his cap hit for the 2020 season is EXTREMELY team friendly at just $4.3 million. That number rises to $15.75 million in 2021 and then $19.75 million in 2022. But if you take a closer look, you will notice that the Eagles have an easy out after the 2021 season if Slay regresses, as they would have $6.5 million in dead money (remaining signing bonus owed) but would actually save north of $13 million in cap space.
If Slay was truly committed to the Detroit Lions like he said he was, Lions general manager Bob Quinn dropped the ball in a big way by not locking up Slay with a team-friendly contract such as the one Slay signed with the Eagles. A $4.3 million cap hit in 2020 and a $15.75 hit in 2021 would have been extremely doable and then the Lions could have cut him before the number got too high. (Note: The Lions will be paying Slay’s replacement, Desmond Trufant, $7.28 million in 2020)
Now, for all we know, Quinn did offer Slay a similar contract and Slay turned it down but when considering Quinn’s incompetence as a GM, that seems unlikely.
Nation, what do you think, did Bob Quinn and the Detroit Lions drop the ball by not locking up Slay to a contract similar to what he got from the Philadelphia Eagles?