Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn essentially confirmed Adam Schefter’s report from last week that the team was fielding calls for a potential Darius Slay, but he stopped well short of saying the plan was to trade away their star cornerback.
“I think what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to explore a trade,” Quinn said to a select group of Detroit reporters at the NFL Combine on Tuesday per the Detroit News. “That’s not saying we’re definitely trading him. We’ve had some conversations with other teams. Nothing to report right now. I think we’re very much in the information gathering phase of this.”
Quinn also said the team is currently exploring all options with Slay, including extending him to a new contract, staying put for 2020, and, yes, trading away him, too.
And while Quinn made it clear the team isn’t currently trying to get rid of him, this is in stark contrast to conversations about Matthew Stafford trade rumors, in which Quinn continues to vehemently deny.
That being said, there is no guarantee Slay is moved this offseason. Just last week, Quinn told DetroitLions.com’s Tori Petry that he had had “good talks” with Slay’s representation as recent as a couple weeks ago.
Quinn also said Lions are exploring all options with Slay, including trade talks and extension. Everything remains on the table.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) February 25, 2020
Slay is currently under contract for the 2020 season, due to earn a $10 million salary while the Lions take on a $13.4 million cap hit. However, Slay has made it clear through social media that he’s looking to earn at least $16 million a year on a new deal, and if that means making that much somewhere else, he’s fine with that.
“If they give me a contract, I’ll be blessed and fortunate enough for it,” Slay said back during Super Bowl week. “Like I said, I always wanted to retire as a Detroit Lion, but if it don’t happen, it’s cool. It’ll be alright. If I don’t, someone will be getting a great player.”
Lions head coach Matt Patricia wanted to make clear, though, that the team isn’t attempting to trade him, just gauging the market.
“We’re not trying to trade him. This not an active trying to trade situation. This is an exploring situation,” Patricia said.
No better place to explore those options this week at the NFL Combine. And while the Lions administration said there is no deadline for a decision on Slay’s future, don’t be surprised if rumors and reports spread like wildfire as NFL general managers chat each other up in the hallways of Lucas Oil Stadium throughout the week.