The Eagles on Thursday morning were able to pull off a trade with the Lions for three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.
As of Thursday night, we know why the Lions were willing to part with him.
In an incendiary interview with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Slay detailed his fractured relationship with Lions head coach Matt Patricia. He also revealed the specific incident that caused him to lose respect for the head coach, from which there was no coming back.
Here’s what Slay told Birkett about an incident in training camp of 2018:
"He told me in front of the whole team, in the team meeting room, showed clips of me in practice getting a ball caught on me or so in practice. I posted a picture (of a wide receiver on social media), and he told me, stop sucking this man’s private. So I’m like, 'Whoa.' I’m like, 'Hold up.' Where I’m from, that don’t fly. Cause I wouldn’t say that to him. I wouldn’t say to him to stop you know what to Bill Belichick. I wouldn’t do that. That’s just not me as a man. That’s disrespectful to me and so from there on it was done with."
Slay, 29, told Birkett that he was very upset by Patricia’s comment and it took former teammate Glover Quin, sitting next to him, to calm him down. This was during Patricia’s first training camp as Lions head coach. Another assistant coach tried to explain to Slay that Patricia was making a point about staying off social media but Slay didn’t take kindly to it.
Patricia on Thursday released a statement through the Lions to the Detroit Free Press, but basically just said his discussions with his players are confidential.
Things apparently calmed down some between Slay and Patricia in the 2019 but the relationship was irreparable.
The article cites one anonymous Lions source who said Slay became “a major cancer” during the 2019 season and “he would sit in meeting and not pay attention” then “go into the locker room and tell other players how the coaches are full of s—.”
Slay on Thursday night responded to that anonymous quote.
A cancer lol!!! I would love to kno who said that!😂 https://t.co/0jbT2WB1IY— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 20, 2020
In addition to the training camp story, Slay also told another about Patricia in which the head coach was upset that Slay was working out in the offseason with Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib and Xavier Rhodes. Slay said that, in addition to Patricia’s saying he shouldn’t have been there because he wasn’t on those players’ level, Patricia also said Sherman was trying to pull information about the Lions out of him.
The Lions hired Patricia to replace Jim Caldwell in 2018 and, according to the article, plenty of players struggling with the new coach’s personality. You can go ahead and put Slay at the top of that list.
“I mean, the guys that didn’t respond to it right are the ones that’s already kind of gone," Slay said. "So if you don’t like how he talk, he kind of get you out of there."
While Slay said he would have considered a long-term deal in Detroit it was clear that he was never going to get along with the head coach. He’s appreciative of the Eagles’ trading for him and his fresh start in Philly.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.