After missing out on former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones earlier in free agency, the Eagles and Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman traded for Pro-Bowl cornerback Darius Slay on Thursday.
It was also reported that as part of the deal, the Eagles reached an agreement with Slay on a contract extension.
The Eagles are sending a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to Detroit in exchange for the 29-year-old cornerback. Philadelphia started the day with two third rounders, pick 85 and pick 103, but it wasn’t immediately clear which would be included in the deal.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Slay will sign a 3-year, $50-million extension once the trade is complete, with $30 million of the deal being guaranteed.
The extension pays Slay an average annual value of $16.67 million a year, just a bit higher than the $16.50 million AAV Jones got from Miami. The deal makes Slay the highest-paid cornerback in football on a per-year basis.
Slay gives a much-needed boost to a thin Eagles secondary. After declining to extend safety Malcolm Jenkins earlier in the week, Philadelphia needed to make a move if they expected to improve a defensive backfield already lacking star power. Slay gives the Eagles the true No. 1 corner that they’ve been missing for a long time.
Slay is coming off a somewhat down year by his standards but is still widely regarded as a top-tier corner around the league. In 103 games throughout his career he has 19 interceptions, 347 tackles and 104 passes defended.
With safety Rodney McCleod signing a 2-year deal with the Eagles on Wednesday and rumors circulating that Jalen Mills will make the move to safety to replace Jenkins, the only question remaining for the defensive backfield is who will play cornerback for the Birds opposite Slay when the season starts this fall.