On his latest podcast, Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay addressed his current tricky situation with the Philadelphia Eagles.
News broke on Friday that the Eagles had granted Slay’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, permission to seek a trade as the two sides try to work toward a resolution with his contract.
After the ESPN report about the Eagles’ granting permission for Slay to seek a trade, another report from Sports Illustrated clarified that Slay had not requested a trade.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Philadelphia sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
So what’s going on?
Slay addressed it all on his podcast, Big Play Slay, on The Volume:
“I know what’s going on. I hear the rumors, I hear everything,” Slay said. “I see everything all over the globe, all over the internet and I just want my fans to know Slay did not ask to be traded. But this is part of the business. There’s no bad blood against neither one of us, me or Howie (Roseman). None of that. We all good, great understanding. It’s just the business part of it. A lot of guys go up for trades, you know, they got a lot of money involved in this situation so it’s nothing big, nothing too serious. It’s just part of the business, man.
“I do want to finish my career as an Eagle but we’ll see. We be looking forward to it, man. Got time here. But best believe, I do want to be an Eagle. But if my job requires me to go elsewhere, then I’ll go. … I got a lot of years left in this game and I love this game, man. So it’s only right for me to finish off strong.”
It’s very clear that the issue between Slay and the Eagles is contractual. The 32-year-old cornerback is coming off another Pro Bowl season but is entering the final year of his current deal.
While the Eagles would probably really like to restructure that deal to bring down his $26.1 million cap hit in 2023 — they could do that simply by paying out most of his $17 million base salary as a bonus — Slay would like a contract extension. And it seems like Slay has some leverage here, because the Eagles can’t restructure his deal to save that cap space without him.
And even if Rosenhaus finds a decent trade with another team, the Eagles would save just $3.7 million if they trade Slay before June 1. They would be left with $22 million in dead money.
What seems more likely is that Rosenhaus will be able to get a better sense of the market for his client and bring that back to the Eagles. So there’s still hope that the two sides can figure something out and get Slay back on the team for this coming season. Because not only is he one of their best defensive players but three other starters from the secondary — James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps — are all set to hit free agency next week.
Even if a trade still seems somewhat unlikely, that didn’t stop plenty of players from around the league from recruiting Slay on Twitter. He saw all that too.
“I appreciate my NFL brothers. I see all the love y’all showing me,” Slay said. “I appreciate it. It shows me y’all got a lot of respect for my game, y’all believe I can come to y’all organization and help win. I appreciate that. Shout out to my boy Quandre (Diggs), shout out to Micah (Parsons) but I know about Dallas. Tough one. But shout out to everyone. Cordarrelle (Patterson), my draft mate, back at home, back in Georgia, Atlanta. That’s the crib. And my boy MVS (Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling), man, we be having great battles up there in Green Bay. So I see you too little bro. I saw the tweet even though you beat us. I’m over it almost. But hey, man, I’m hoping for anything, any great opportunity to go out and help an organization win. I’m looking forward to seeing this. I’ve been here before and I end up as an Eagle. So we’ll see where I end up now.”
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast