NFL free agency: Eagles CB Darius Slay reportedly agrees to 2-year extension after nearly being released
Just when it seemed the pair were headed for a divorce, the Philadelphia Eagles and cornerback Darius Slay are reportedly staying together.
Slay has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract extension with the team.
He’s back: The #Eagles are keeping star CB Darius Slay after all, with the team reaching a 2-year extension through 2025, per me and @MikeGarafolo and He announced his release but wasn't actually released. The two sides got together and worked it out. The Pro Bowler sticks. pic.twitter.com/TDqJ5ZLu7g
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2023
This is a pretty big change in the span of 36 hours. On Wednesday morning, it seemed like Slay was being released. He wanted a new contract with new money, something the Eagles appeared unwilling to give him. The team had even let him try to find a trade partner in the week leading up to the start of the new league year. He didn't manage to find one, so it appeared that was that.
Slay even tweeted a farewell message to Philly.
Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next..
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 15, 2023
Then, somehow, things changed. GM Howie Roseman, apparently close to releasing Slay, decided against it. The Eagles held onto him and his exclusive negotiating rights, and have now reportedly come back together with Slay to negotiate a new deal. Both Slay and his wife, Jennifer, confirmed the news on Twitter.
Back like I never left!!! Run it back 🦅
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 16, 2023
WE HERE BABY!!! 💚🦅🦅🦅
— Jennifer Slay💛✨ (@jennwilliams23) March 16, 2023
Slay, 32, had a Pro Bowl season in 2022 and has seven interceptions over his three seasons with the Birds. According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Slay's new deal won't include any new money, and his deal will likely have to be restructured to lower his $26.1 million cap hit in 2023.
Eagles putting (most of) the band back together
Roseman has a pretty tall order in front of him this offseason. The 2022 Eagles had both talent and chemistry, and recreating that is hard (if not impossible) to do — especially when you don't have a ton of cap flexibility, which is where the Eagles are.
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But Roseman has already managed to retain some important contributors from last year's team. Center Jason Kelce, who is a no doubt first-ballot Hall of Famer, put off retirement for one more year and is returning to the team for his 13th season. The Eagles reportedly agreed to one-year deals with DT Fletcher Cox, DE Brandon Graham and RB Boston Scott. They signed running back Rashaad Penny to replace Miles Sanders, who signed with the Carolina Panthers. And we can't forget the three-year, $38 million deal to retain cornerback James Bradberry, which went down Wednesday.
With all that done and out of the way, Roseman's attention will likely turn to safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. If Roseman can find the cap flexibility to retain him too, he might be a wizard.