Life without Darius Slay is becoming a real possibility for the Detroit Lions with the two sides still seemingly far apart from a deal. Slay has been fairly vocal on social media that he wants to be paid like a top corner. Whether he deserves it or not is a whole different debate that we won’t get into right now.
There have been some murmurs around the league about the Lions talking to multiple teams that have shown interest in trading for Slay. As reported earlier in the week by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, some teams believe that Slay will be traded this offseason, but the Lions aren’t budging (yet) unless they get good value.
In this hypothetical scenario, we will assume that the Lions and Slay are unable to come to any agreement and find themselves backed into a corner where they are basically forced to trade away their star corner in hopes to get something in return, anticipating that he will not come back next year.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
If the Lions trade away Darius Slay, how would you fix the cornerback position?
My answer: This would feel like a doomsday scenario for a coaching staff that is currently in win now mode with possibly only one year to right the ship. Cornerback is a position with extreme importance in the NFL, and in Matt Patricia’s scheme, where they preach versatility and put an extra defensive back on the field oft times, it’s amplified to the nth degree.
With a gaping hole at cornerback, the Lions should invest all of their resources into bringing Byron Jones to Detroit. Jones is set to be an unrestricted free agent and will likely cost a lot of money, much like Slay, but to me, he is an even better fit with this scheme. Jones is an exceptional lockdown corner and would thrive in Patricia’s heavy man-coverage scheme.
If the Lions do manage to bring in Jones, they also have the option to double down and maybe grab a top corner like Jeffrey Okudah. Or they could invest some resources into their pass rush first by snagging a defensive tackle or edge rusher and wait until Day 2 to target another corner. A couple names that come to mind that would fit nicely are TCU’s Jeff Gladney and Alabama’s Trevon Diggs.
Trading away Darius Slay this offseason wouldn’t signal the end of the world for Bob Quinn and friends, but it’s an extremely risky ordeal with a lot of moves to follow that would need to fall perfectly in place to shore up the defense. It’s make or break time for the front office.