Darius Slay and Ndamukong Suh talk on the phone all the time, and Suh has been telling his former Lions teammate the last few months he’s in great shape, biding his time and waiting for the right situation to come up before returning to football.
Slay kept telling him this is the right situation.
“He’s at the stage where he’s like, ‘I’m trying to win,’ and he always talks about, ‘I’ll come along for sure and play alongside y'all guys because it’s a good situation,’ and stuff like that, and it finally happened.”
Slay and Suh, teammates with the Lions in 2013 and 2014, have now been reunited with the Eagles. That’s nine combined Pro Bowls for the Lions’ 2010 first-round pick and 2013 second-round pick.
Suh, 35, is expected in Philly on Friday. He’s the second major addition to the Eagles’ defensive line in two days, following Linval Joseph’s signing on Wednesday.
“He’s got a lot left, for sure,” Slay said. “Sue (was) just chilling. He’s rich as hell, ya know? He can probably play as long as he wants to. He’s so rich and he’s so chill. He’s got kids now, he’s got twins, so he’s like, ‘I’m just chilling.’
“But this is a great opportunity to keep building his Hall of Fame career, a great chance of winning, coming to a winning team, he can come help us for sure. He’s just trying to build his legacy and continue to do what he’s been doing.”
Suh has never missed a game due to injury in his 12 NFL seasons. He spent five years with the Lions, three with the Dolphins, one with the Rams and the last three with the Bucs, winning a Super Bowl in 2020.
Suh has earned over $166 million, according to Spotrac, so this year wasn’t about landing a huge contract as much as finding the right team.
“Shoot, if I was in that situation? I’d want to come to a winning team, too,” Slay said. “If I’m 34, 35, just sitting and chilling, I’d do just what (Odell Beckham) did last year, hop on a team and win a Super Bowl. You know what I’m saying?
“Hey, I’m here for it. I’m trying to win one myself.”
The Eagles now have four defensive linemen who are 34 or older and three of them arrived in the last few weeks – Brandon Graham, Robert Quinn, Joseph and Suh. Fletcher Cox, at 31, is the fifth-oldest defensive lineman on the roster.
Can these guys still play?
“Like I’ve been trying to tell the world, this is not the 1940s and 50s and 60s and 70s,” Slay said. “Thirty-plus old guys can still play at a high, high, high, high level, so they need to get rid of that narrative of (they’re) old and can’t play. Maybe 40-plus (can’t play) besides Tom (Brady). … I’m not trying to play when I’m 40, but the 30-plus club is really like the new 20s.
“They haven’t played 10 years plus for no reason, they know how to prepare themselves, I’m sure they’ve been working out, they’re just waiting on the right opportunity and what team they really wanted to (join).
“The ball is in their hands. They made all the money, they made all the accolades, All-Pros. Now they want Super Bowls and (are) just sitting back and waiting to see what teams they could help and I’m glad they chose us.”
Slay said Suh really took him under his wing early in his career and was one of the Lions veterans that taught him how to be a pro.
Slay said he might reciprocate by giving Suh a place to live.
“That’s my dog,” Slay said. “I told him he could come in and move in if he wanted to. My wife and kids are in Houston. They’re coming down this weekend, but he can move in. I got a whole house. I got a big house, I got a whole downstairs set up nice for him.
“I’m rich, too. He can stay rent-free. He can come in whenever he wants to. We’re both rich. I don’t need to charge my dog.”
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