March 15, 2023
The Eagles will be releasing cornerback Darius Slay, per ESPN, a league source confirmed. Slay also tweeted a goodbye message to Philadelphia.
Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next..— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 15, 2023
After struggling against some bigger receivers like Davante Adams and DK Metcalf in his first season in Philly in 2020, Slay was was a steady cover corner all season long in 2021, having no such obviously bad games, even when trailing the opposing team's best receiver for most of the year. He also made the Pro Bowl as a result of a number of splash plays that were integral in wins against the Panthers, Broncos, and Saints. He was arguably the Eagles' best defensive player in 2021.
In 2022, Slay started off hot. He had one of the best games that I've ever seen an Eagles cornerback have Week 2 against the Vikings, when he had two interceptions and five pass breakups while (mostly) working against the best wide receiver in the NFL in Justin Jefferson. He also had a big game against the Cowboys Week 6, when he picked off Cooper Rush once and put himself in position to make a number big plays (but just didn't finish).
However, in the Eagles' final 14 games, Slay had no interceptions and 8 pass breakups. He made the Pro Bowl once again, but he did not sustain his All-Pro level of play the first couple of months throughout the entirety of the season.
Slay is now 32 years old, and 2023 was the final year of his contract. Slay was due a base salary of $17 million in 2023. By releasing him, the Eagles will not have to pay that. However, because the Eagles have already restructured Slay's contract and kicked the can down the road once before, they have a dead money cap hit of $22,409,000.
According to a source, Slay will be released with a June 1 designation. $8,611,000 of the $22,409,000 in dead money will count toward the 2023 salary cap, and $13,798,000 will count toward 2024. They will save $17.5 million on the 2023 cap, but that savings will not come until June 1.
The Eagles were able to re-sign James Bradberry on Tuesday, but cornerback will now be a significant need area the rest of the offseason.
Update: Welp, the Eagles never officially released Slay at the start of the new league year at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the two sides negotiated all evening, and it looks like Slay may not be leaving Philly after all.
WE HERE BABY!!! 💚🦅🦅🦅— Jennifer Slay💛✨ (@jennwilliams23) March 16, 2023
Back like I never left!!! Run it back 🦅— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 16, 2023
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