Lately, there has been a lot of reporting that the Eagles would be losing most of their marquee Free Agents. But when it rains, it pours. Because now it appears premier CB Darius Slay could also be leaving. the Eagles have given his agent permission to seek a trade, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini. This means with James Bradberry, CJ Gardner Johnson, and Marcus Epps all free agents, the Eagles could have a near completely different starting secondary going into next season.
The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed Darius Slay's agent Drew Rosenhaus to seek a trade, per sources. The Eagles are still hopeful to find a solution where Slay remains an Eagle.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 10, 2023
Darius Slay is heading into the final year of his contract with the Eagles. He is owed $17 million and will carry a cap hit of $26.1 million. A trade before 6/1 would carry a Dead Cap Hit of $21,265,000, for a cap savings of $4,846,000. A post-6/1 trade would save them $16,856,000 on the 2023 cap. But that would come with a dead cap hit of $12,010,000 in 2024.
Why Slay wants to be traded now is not yet known. Slay was a big proponent of promoting Dennard Wilson. But the Eagles chose to hire Sean Desai instead. Afterward, the Eagles and Wilson “parted ways” but there was some reporting that he was actually fired. That very well could be playing a part in why Slay wants to leave. It could also just be a ploy to get a new deal by either the Eagles or Slay. The Eagles are hopeful they can work something out for him to return.
What comes next for them?
Slay started off last season red hot. He was quickly racking up interceptions, and shutting down opposing WRs. But his play fell off later in the season. After racking up 3 interceptions in the first 5 games, he had 0 the rest of the way. And he also started to be picked on a bit. Slay was part of a secondary and defense that got 0 stops in the second half vs the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
Still, losing him would deal a big blow to the Eagles’ defensive talent. They already had some major holes to fill with limited cap space, and now this will be one more. As much as they struggled in the Super Bowl, the secondary was a strength of the defense all year long. They were at the top of the league in both passing yards and interceptions. The hope was that Slay would provide some consistency, but now he could be gone too.
What type of capital Slay would bring back in a trade is unclear. The Eagles have 4 picks on day 1 and 2 of the draft. But they have just two 7th round picks on day 3. But whatever picks they get back may need to go towards finding his replacement. Because the Eagles could have two cornerback and two safeties to replace.