When the Eagles granted permission for Darius Slay’s agent to look for a trading partner last Friday, the team’s relationship with its Pro Bowl cornerback seemed on shaky ground.
The relationship fractured Wednesday morning with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that the Eagles plan to release Slay.
Slay, 32, will become a free agent at 4 p.m. Wednesday, when free agency begins. ESPN said the Eagles and Slay could not agree to a contract restructure. What will the Eagles roster look like without him?
Slay, in the final year of a three-year, $50 million deal, was scheduled to make $17 million in 2023. According to Spotrac, Slay’s salary-cap hit would be about $26 million this season. But by releasing Slay as a post-June 1 cut, the Eagles would save $17.5 million against the cap, according to NFL Network.
The Eagles acquired Slay from the Lions in 2020 for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick. Slay made the Pro Bowl in 2021 and 2022. This past season, he had three interceptions and 14 passes defended.
Slay apparently said good-bye Wednesday morning on Twitter: Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next ..
Slay is the fifth free agent defensive starter the Eagles have lost since the Super Bowl. The others:
- Kyzir White, linebacker, Cardinals
- T.J. Edwards, linebacker, Bears
- Javon Hargrave, defensive tackle, 49ers
- Marcus Epps, safety, Raiders
The Eagles also lost free-agent offensive tackle Andre Dillard to the Titans.
The Eagles reportedly will re-sign Slay’s running mate at cornerback, James Bradberry, to a three-year deal. The fourth member of the secondary, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, remains unsigned and continues to be a priority for the Eagles to re-sign. The Eagles reportedly told CJGJ to give them a chance to match any offer he receives.
With the loss of Slay, the Eagles might be more inclined to use one of their first-round picks next month on a cornerback. The Eagles have the 10th and 30th picks.
On his podcast, Slay addressed the Eagles allowing his agent to shop for a trading partner.
- “I just want my fans to know, Slay did not ask to be traded,” Slay said.
- “But this is part of the business. There’s no bad blood against neither one of us, me or [general manager] Howie [Roseman]. None of that.
- “We all good. Great understanding, just the business part of it, man. A lot of guys go up for trade, you know, it got a lot of money involved in this situation. It’s nothing big.
- “Nothing too serious, man. It’s part of the business, man. I do want to finish my career as an Eagle, but we’ll see.”