Pro Bowl CB Darius Slay: ‘I Was Almost A Raven’ This Offseason Before Re-Doing Deal In Philly

The Baltimore Ravens released Calais Campbell, traded starting safety Chuck Clark, allowed Ben Powers to walk, and have only added wide receiver Nelson Agholor via outside free agency. They’ve made some very minor re-signings, the biggest being placing a restricted free agent tender on quarterback Tyler Huntley.

And they still have just $6 million in salary cap space. All because they have to accommodate a $32 million cap hit for quarterback Lamar Jackson’s franchise tag, which he doesn’t appear to have any intention of signing—indeed, he revealed he’s requested a trade.

Meanwhile, Marcus Peters, one of their top cornerbacks, is an unrestricted free agent and the Ravens don’t appear to have any intention of re-signing him. But supposedly they nearly did sign another very notable name.

According to the man himself, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Darius Slay was “this close”, he said recently, to being a Raven.

“The Baltimore Ravens were the first team that called”, he added on his own podcast, Big Play Slay, as transcribed by Jamison Hensley for ESPN. “They offered just what I wanted. I said, ‘If the Eagles do that, I’m going to stay an Eagle’. It was nice now. I was almost a Raven’”.

Now, it’s important to note that Slay was not an unrestricted free agent, but the Eagles did give him permission to seek a trade, and then there was talk of Philadelphia potentially releasing him. Neither of those scenarios happened, however, as they renegotiated his contract to address his desires.

On his revised deal, Slay is now under contract through 2025 and it is reportedly worth $42 million, of which $24.5 million is guaranteed, including a signing bonus north of $10 million. It also includes a $16.1-million option year and features void years to reduce his cap hit.

A 10-year veteran, Slay has become a perennial Pro Bowler in the second half of his career. He has spent the past three seasons with the Eagles, intercepting three passes in each of the past two years. He and James Bradberry were widely regarded as one of the top cornerback duos in the NFL last season.

Now 32 years old, ‘Big Play’ Slay is still playing at a high level, but one has to wonder for how much longer. After all, Peters is younger and many are already viewing him as though he is done. Once a cornerback hits that age, there’s no telling when he’ll hit the wall.

Either way, the Ravens still need to find help at the cornerback position, and the fact that they pursued Slay makes it clear they know that. One wonders how much they were willing to offer him—and offer the Eagles via trade—to make it happen.

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