The Eagles made their biggest move so far this offseason Thursday morning, trading for and extending the contract of cornerback Darius Slay, an All-Pro player in 2017 with the Detroit Lions.
The 29-year-old was one of the best corners in the NFL for a stretch of time, but he’s coming off a down season. The Eagles are banking on Slay’s being able to return to elite form after giving him a three-year, $50 million deal. He’s now the highest-paid corner in the league in average annual value.
Slay took to Instagram to say goodbye to Detroit and hello to Philadelphia, noting that playing for Kobe Bryant’s favorite team is a “dream come true.”
The Eagles will be happy to see his peers make the case that Slay’s apparent regression last year was more situational than anything.
His new teammates — including the guys with whom he’ll share a secondary — were excited by the news, too.
Pro Football Focus gave Slay an unfavorable grade last season, but even some advanced analytic experts give good reason to feel good about the trade from the Eagles’ perspective.
And, of course, a handful of defensive backs in the NFL were happy to see a new benchmark contract helping their market.