Taking a closer look at what the Eagles got in Darius Slay with 20 things to know about the soon-to-be eight-year pro.
1. Darius Demetrius Slay is a three-time Pro Bowler and was first-team All-Pro cornerback in 2017. Slay, 29, is 6-foot, 190 pounds. His Pro Football Focus grade slipped to 56.4 last season after being a career-high 80.6 in ’17. The Lions (3-12-1) were pretty bad last year.
2. Has 19 interceptions in 103 career games, including a pick-six off Arizona’s Josh Rosen in 2018 and Carson Wentz’s first career interception in 2016. The Eagles were 0-3 against the Lions when Slay was there.
3. The Lions made two playoff appearances in Slay’s seven seasons, losing in the wild-card round each time (2014, 2016). His last postseason win was the 2011 Music City Bowl as a Mississippi State Bulldog.
4. Slay is a lockdown corner comfortable with lining up all over the field to track the opposition’s No. 1 receiver.
5. The top 5 receivers on the Eagles’ schedule in 2020: Michael Thomas (New Orleans), DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona), Davante Adams (Green Bay), D.K. Metcalf (Seattle), Amari Cooper (Dallas).
6. Slay’s wife, Jennifer, who played basketball at Southwest Oklahoma State, and his mom are the biggest influences in his life, he said.
7. "We are like best friends,” Slay told the Detroit News about his mother. “She’s only 13 years older than me, so I kind of look at it like she’s my big sister. She taught me a lot of things, some stuff that a man didn’t teach me.”
8. It’s gonna be an even happier Mother’s Day, after the Eagles signed Slay to a three-year, $50 million contract, with $30 million guaranteed.
9. An idea of how things had deteriorated in Detroit was his enthusiastic response when the Lions signed cornerback Desmond Trufant. “Hope that speeds up my trade process!!” he tweeted. One day later, Slay was an Eagle.
11. Ranked 86th by fellow players in the NFL Network’s top 100 last summer, just after Kansas City defensive end Frank Clark and in front of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. Slay was 49th in 2018.
12. Has a photo on Instagram of him exchanging jerseys after a game with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. While there may be initial outrage around here, it’s important to remember they were teammates at Mississippi State in 2012.
13. The year before at MSU, Fletcher Cox was a teammate. Slay’s college head coach was Ursinus alum Dan Mullen. Former Temple coach Geoff Collins was co-defensive coordinator at Mississippi State while Slay was there.
14. There’s also a picture on Instagram of him and Kobe Bryant from 2015, which is somewhat compelling.
15. Slay’s first NFL head coach was Jim Schwartz, the Eagles defensive coordinator.
16. Slay would survey Detroit social media on the best area high school games of the week and just show up.
17. A New Year’s Day baby, Slay was born in 1991. Notable players also born on Jan. 1 include former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas (1967), former Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker (1927), and former Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (1989).
19. Slay hails from Brunswick, Ga., a town of about 16,000 in the southeastern part of the state, some 40 miles north of Florida. It’s also the hometown of baseball pitcher Adam Wainwright, golfer Davis Love III, and civil rights pioneer Madaline Williams, who in the 1950s became the first African American woman elected to the New Jersey state legislature.
20. Slay and his wife have four children. “I try to teach them to be high character,” he told the Detroit News last fall. “Your identity is everything. Respect is earned. Your name is everything. Carry it the way you want it to be carried."