Instant analysis: Everything you need to know about the Eagles’ trade for Darius Slay


While you most of you were sleeping last night, the Philadelphia Eagles finalized a trade for Lions cornerback Darius Slay. This came on the back of an oddly quiet opening day of free agency that saw just about every top cornerback remaining sign with a new team. Howie Roseman reacted in a way only Howie knew how – working the phones.

Here’s everything you need to know:

The compensation

A third-rounder and a fifth-rounder is a fairly significant amount of ammunition. We speculated on last night’s live stream that a mid-round pick may be enough to get it done given the signing of Desmond Trufant. That wasn’t the case, and it turns out the Lions did need that extra teaser to get it over the line.

The Eagles do have a compensatory pick in the third-round and a pair of fourth-rounders too, making the surrendering of that fifth-rounder a little less painful.

We know that Howie is besotted with compensatory picks. The Eagles cut L.J Fort in order to stay in the running for one and when Jordan Matthews caused a compensatory hiccup, Andrew Sendejo was the fall-guy in order to keep that dish cooking. After a turbulent time trying to accumulate that ammunition, we can at least say it was for good reason.

Here’s how the Eagles draft picks look after the trade (if we’re to assume the highest fifth-rounder is traded, pick 166):

Round 1: Pick 21
Round 2: Pick 53
Round 3: Pick 85
Round 4: Pick 127
Round 4: Pick 145 (comp)
Round 4: Pick 146 (comp)
Round 5: Pick 168
Round 6: Pick 190

The extension

This is the big part. Seeing how other cornerbacks were being paid, getting a Darius Slay extension over the line was always going to be interesting.

A couple of quick takeaways here:

Byron Jones – 5 years, $82.5M, $57M guaranteed.
Darius Slay – 3 years, $50M, $30M guaranteed.

They are very similar deals. Darius Slay technically becomes the highest-paid CB in the NFL, which is what he wanted from the outset. The Eagles give up mid-round picks to make him so. That was always the concern in comparison to Byron Jones, who in my eyes was the better scheme fit and came without that additional investment. But there is a silver-lining here:

A 4-year $32M deal was given to Malcolm Jenkins by the New Orleans Saints. The Eagles opted to pay a younger player who filled a much bigger hole in their secondary as opposed to bringing back the veteran Safety.

At 29-years old, the Eagles are getting a three-time Pro Bowler who recorded 2 picks and 10 passes defensed in 12 games played along with 23 solo tackles last year. Whichever way you look at it, whether you were a Slay fan from day one or maybe wanted someone else, the Eagles are getting a lockdown corner who can man-up against guys like Terry McLaurin and Amari Cooper twice a year. That can only be seen as a positive.

Enjoy your Slay Day.

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports