As the NFL Draft approaches expect the Detroit Lions to aggressively field offers for All-Pro corner Darius Slay.
The always-rebuilding Detroit Lions are expected to be parting ways with one of their best players leading up to the NFL Draft. The team tried shopping their best corner last season before the week eight trade deadline but couldn’t find anyone willing to anti-up the proper compensation in return for his services.
I must say, it’s an odd time to trade Darius Slay, in what’s been called a ‘win-now’ season. Or shall I say, a ‘compete now’ season? With the franchise expected to play ‘meaningful’ games next December, it leaves plenty to ponder what exactly meaningful really means. Would a .500 team that sits third in the division fall into the category of meaningful?
If the Detroit Lions are indeed expected to play meaningful games, how can the organization justify trading away one of their top players? Darius Slay, without a doubt, is the teams’ best defensive player, even considering last seasons’ struggles. But if he’s threatening to holdout if an agreement on an extension isn’t made, what choice does GM Bob Quinn have?
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I don’t care if you have Deion Sanders playing corner. He isn’t going to cover a top NFL receiver downfield for five or six seconds every single play. That’s what the Detroit Lions defensive backs were asked to do last year play after play as the defensive front struggled to create pressure on the quarterback game after game.
Slay is undoubtedly at the point in his career where a decline is imminent, but last season’s 56.4 grade from Pro Football Focus is the worst of Slay’s career, but it doesn’t tell the entire story. We need to take into account this whole defense was atrocious.
Although I believe the Detroit Lions need to trade Slay rather than meet his salary demands, it’s still not an ideal situation, but the proper one. This move won’t have the same feel to it as when the team released Damon Harrison. That was more like deciding not to go on a third date. Moving on from Darius Slay, who the Detroit Lions drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is much more like an ugly divorce.
The team is trying to get the best return possible; it’s like the two are still living in the same house until it sells, but the offers are few and far between. They don’t want to give the house away for free but understand if they’re going to sell it and move on, they may need to settle on a price.
Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn may have to settle on a price as the draft approaches. If he can’t find a deal, the likelihood of Slay holding out this summer significantly increases without a contract extension. At this point, a second-round pick seems like a stretch. Quinn may be forced to settle for a third, would you be ok with that?
If you’ve read my work in the past, you know I’m fond of Darius Slay, but business is business. Sometimes the business side of sports interferes with a persons’ fandom. Still, the Detroit Lions need to do what’s best for the organization, and moving a somewhat disgruntled star for draft capital at this time is a best-case scenario.