The marriage between the Detroit Lions and Darius Slay may be devolving into an episode of Divorce Court. The 29-year-old cornerback found himself on the trade block in 2019, but no trigger was pulled by the Lions as they failed to secure an offer they thought warranted walking away from the three-time Pro Bowler. The damage to the relationship had been done though, but Slay is willing to move past it and sign a new deal with the club.
"Of course I want an extension," Slay said from Super Bowl LIV Media Week, per MLive. "But how that turns out, we'll see."
The two sides are currently in talks to make that happen, but there's still a very real chance the Lions will again shop him if terms can't be agreed to in the coming weeks -- per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN -- with negotiations having been underway "for a while." The former second-round pick signed a four-year, $48.15 million contract extension with $23.1 million guaranteed in 2016 that locks him in through the 2020 season, but then puts him in unrestricted free agency next March.
He's set to hit the Lions salary cap this year for a hefty $13.4 million, but that figure could easily be reduced on a new deal that includes a restructuring of his 2020 payout. Or, as mentioned above, the Lions could look to trade him and get from under the cap hit altogether, with the exception of a $2.9 million hit for his prorated signing bonus. Both options appear to be on the table, but the Lions will first try to retain one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, if they can.
Slay has seen a downturn in his production since his breakout 2017 season wherein he inhaled eight interceptions, but he still has five interceptions in the last two seasons with one of them being a 67-yard pick-six (2018). His average annual salary of $12 million ranks 14th in the league at his position, but that will likely change soon.
Whether it's with the Lions or another team is to be determined.