March 05, 2021
The Philadelphia Eagles have restructured the contract of CB Darius Slay, creating $9.14 million in salary cap space in 2021, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The #Eagles have some cap work to do, and that focus has begun: They just restructured CB Darius Slay’s contract to create $9.14M in salary cap room, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2021
The Eagles have little other choice than to restructure a number of veteran contracts just to get under the cap in 2021. In doing so, they're going to be committing to players for extra years when they otherwise likely wouldn't.
To note, there are no free lunches in the NFL. Prior to the restructure, Slay already had a total of $40.5 million in scheduled cap charges over the two remaining years of his deal ($19,750,000 in 2022 and $20,750,000 in 2023). Those cap numbers will balloon further, or cap charges will be added onto "dummy years" beyond the length of the contract. Or both. The Eagles are "kicking the can down the road" here to become cap compliant in 2021. While a necessary evil based on the poor cap position the Eagles have put themselves in, to be clear, this is not a move to be celebrated.
In the future, Slay will also almost certainly be more difficult to trade or release, should the team wish to move on from him. In other words, he won't be going anywhere for a while.
No. 1 receivers absolutely wrecked the Eagles' defense in 2019, and as a response the team acquired Slay in a trade during the 2020 offseason to stop the bleeding. Slay traveled with the opposing offense's best receiver all season long, and save for a pair of bad performances against DK Metcalf (10-177-0) and Davante Adams (10-121-2), he was at least able to slow them down. However, he did not live up to his "big play Slay" nickname, as he only had one INT on the season.
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