Darius Slay Sets His Price: Top-Paid CB In NFL

Are the Lions willing to pay up?

97.1 The Ticket
February 10, 2020 - 11:27 am
Darius Slay

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If the Lions want to keep Darius Slay beyond 2020, he's given them an idea of what it will cost.

Detroit will have to make him the top-paid cornerback in the NFL. 

Slay Wants To Stay In Detroit -- But He's 'Gucci' Either Way

That's what Slay implied on Twitter over the weekend, when he responded to a story that said a fair extension for the three-time Pro Bowler would be three years at $15-$16 million per season. "Y’all number to low lol," Slay said. 

The highest-paid cornerbacks in terms of average annual salary are currently Miami's Xavien Howard ($15.1 million), Washington's Josh Norman ($15 million) and the Jets' Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million). Slay ranks 14th at about $12 million. 

When his former teammate Quandre Diggs suggested a four-year, $68 million deal -- $17 million per year -- Slay was much more interested. 

Slay has made it clear over the past year that he wants a new deal, first by skipping OTAs and mandatory minicamp last summer. The Lions considered moving him at the trade deadline and they'll likely explore the trade market again this offseason. 

As Lions Talk Long-Term Deal With Slay, Trade Still An Option

But with what would it cost to re-sign him, the Lions will have a hard time finding an offer they like. A second-round pick is likely the ceiling of Slay's value. 

Further complicating a potential trade is the fact that Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are facing a win-now mandate in 2020. Shipping out one of their best defensive players, on a defense rife with holes, won't help their cause. 

Slay, 29, will be entering his eighth NFL season in 2020. He's closer to the end of his career than than the start, and he wants to cash in again while he still can. The question is whether it will be with the Lions or someone else. 

“If they give me a contract, I’ll be blessed and fortunate enough for it," Slay said last month. "Like I said, I always wanted to retire as a Detroit Lion, but if it don’t happen, it’s cool. I’ll be alright. If I don’t, someone will be getting a great player."