The latest news coming out of the camp of the Detroit Lions is that they’re taking calls for all-pro cornerback Darius Slay.
Slay is going into the final year of his four-year, $48 million deal with the team. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and also turns 30-years old.
I think it’s important to see what his value is across the league, but general manager Bob Quinn would be making a huge mistake trading one of his best players.
Slay received a lot of criticism from fans this past season. However, when the entire defensive unit ranks at the bottom in many major categories, no one looks good.
The Lions were unable to get any pressure on opposing quarterbacks, making the life of secondary players much harder. That would include Slay.
He concluded the 2019 season with 40 solo tackles and just two interceptions.
Despite his struggles last season, trading Slay would mean the Lions have another giant hole to fill.
They already have a lot of giant holes to fill on defense. They can’t afford another one.
I understand that Slay is looking to get paid big time.
Facts I need me lol https://t.co/TQ3aR6yyqd
— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) February 17, 2020
That might mean paying him somewhere close to $15 million a year for a few seasons. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
It’s not like the Lions don’t have money to spend. The team has more than $45 million in cap space to spend this off-season.
Slay has been Detroit’s best defensive player for the last 4-5 seasons. He can continue to be one of their best players on that side of the ball if they lock him up.
An argument I’ve been seeing is that the Lions can draft Jeff Okudah from Ohio State to replace Slay.
They can’t take the risk in hoping that Okudah is a lock-down, No. 1 corner for their defense in his second season (when Slay would depart).
Testing free agency to get your next No. 1 cornerback will mean paying a premium as well.
All of this adds to up to Quinn getting a deal done to keep Slay in the Motor City.