Darius Slay has reportedly joined Matthew Stafford on the Detroit Lions’ chopping block. A new report surfaced on Monday, saying that the team has been actively shopping the Pro Bowl cornerback to multiple rivals since the Super Bowl came and went.
NFL insider Adam Schefter was the first to go public with the report, tweeting out one important point. The Lions aren’t going to trade Slay to just any other team, as the franchise wants good value in return. Schefter also believes the organization is looking out for the defensive back in some ways. Any trade that involves him will reportedly have to include an agreement that his new team would sign him to a fresh contract.
The reporter also said there was plenty of chatter among those who believe a trade will eventually be struck. If it’s not, it will be because the Lions are asking for more in return than other teams are willing to offer, not because he isn’t being shopped around.
As the Detroit Free Press reported, there is at least one fellow defensive back who thinks Slay isn’t being given the respect he deserves. Richard Sherman praised the Lions’ player as one of the best in the business, as the San Francisco 49ers cornerback was asked at Super Bowl LIV about who he thought was the best at the position. In addition to Slay, Sherman mentioned New England’s Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White, the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville’s A.J. Bouye, Denver’s Chris Harris, and Miami’s Xavien Howard.
“I study them every year. That’s how you get better. You can’t be complacent. You can’t think you’ve arrived and that you have all the answers, and you can’t get any better because every year there’s guys with new techniques, new footwork, new hand placements, new adjustments that you can add to your game and make you a better player.”
That was not the first time the Niners star has expressed admiration for Slay. The two defensive backs signed and exchanged jerseys in 2017, when the Seattle Seahawks chased the Detroit Lions out of the playoffs.
When Sherman was asked what specifically he likes about Slay’s game, the veteran defensive back said the Lions’ star has playmaking abilities that stand out among the position group.
“He’s a ballhawk, man,” he said. “He’s a ball-hawking guy and I have the utmost respect for his game and I enjoy watching him play.”
In that 2017 season, Slay certainly was a ball hawk. That year, he had 60 total tackles and a career-high eight interceptions. While he hasn’t come close to picking as many passes since then, the Lions reportedly still believe they can get a good return for the cornerback.