Trade rumors for Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay are heating up, and members of the Seattle Seahawks are weighing in.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Lions have “spoken with multiple teams about a potential trade” that would involve the three-time Pro-Bowler. Conversations with prospective teams include a new contract with Slay as part of the deal. The 29-year-old is in the final year of his four-year, $48.15 million contract.
Many have surmised that Slay could be a good fit on the Seahawks roster. He would bolster the cornerback position. Here’s what we do know about the possibility of Darius Slay in a Seahawks uniform:
The Seahawks have a history of trading with the Lions
In late October, the Lions and Seahawks completed a trade which sent safety Quandre Diggs and a seventh rounder to Seattle in exchange for a fifth-round selection in 2020.
After the Seahawks acquired Diggs in exchange for two draft picks from the Detroit Lions, Slay, bothered by the move, told reporters “nobody’s safe,” from being traded.
Diggs paired up with Bradley McDougald in the defensive backfield and Seattle reaped the benefits (and seemingly won the trade). In five regular season games, Diggs recorded 21 combined tackles, three pass deflections, three interceptions and a defensive touchdown.
The jury is still out for right corner
Tre Flowers, while explosive at times, finished the 2019 season with just two sacks and three interceptions. His struggles in the playoffs were also on full display. He had two defensive pass interference penalties against the Eagles and another lackluster performance against the Packers in the divisional round.
There’s plenty of evidence to support the argument that Flowers could make the third-year leap like Shaquill Griffin, who was rewarded for his standout season with a first Pro Bowl in 2019. However, the Seahawks should have an insurance policy in the case that Flowers does not continue on a positive trajectory.
Seattle will likely sign someone to compete for the starting position opposite of Griffin, and Slay certainly has many of the qualities the Seahawks are looking for. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler, former First-Team All-Pro and amassed 13 passes defended, two interceptions and 46 combined tackle in 2019. Slay leads the NFL with 28 pass breakups since 2015.
There’s some uncertainty on what it would take to get a Slay to Seattle deal done. The Seahawks already have some tough decisions to make if they want to retain Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed this offseason, but cornerback is a position Seattle could improve upon.
Slay, who will turn 29 in January, is entering the final year of his four-year, $48.15 million contract signed in 2016. He will make a base salary of $10 million in 2020 with a cap hit of $13 million, according to sportrac. It’s quite possible he could see north of $15 million a year with his future team.
Seattle has roughly $60 million in cap space and eight projected draft picks. A splash move to acquire Slay isn’t out of the picture, but it does complicate Seattle’s ability to retain Clowney and Reed. If Seattle can upgrade their defense by adding Slay in a similar trade with picks to Diggs, take it and run.
Reuniting Slay and Diggs on the Seahawks secondary could be a game-changer
Diggs has supported his former teammate on Twitter, retweeting Adam Schefter’s post about a potential trade with money sign emojis. His received some backlash on the post, mostly from Lions fans, who don’t want to see another elite defender leave Detroit. Seahawks fans were intrigued by the possibility of Diggs and Slay in Seattle.
Tyler Lockett has also defended Slay when a Twitter user said Detroit should “let him walk.”
“You ain't have to line up against him. You tripping,” Lockett clapped back.
Here’s one thing we do know about Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Coach Pete Carroll: Seattle is always looking to compete. The team has likely acquired about Slay nonetheless, but that doesn’t mean Seattle is Slay’s new home…just yet.