It’s starting to look like the Detroit Lions are going to have to break the bank if they want to keep Darius Slay. The Pro Bowl defensive back, who’s headed into the final year of his contract, hinted on Twitter this week that if the Lions want to keep him, they’re going to have to make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
Currently, there are only two corners in the league — Xavien Howard and Josh Norman — who are making north of $15 million per year, and when a Detroit media member asked if the Lions would be willing to pay that much, Slay responded with a simple tweet.
Basically, that’s Slay’s way of saying that the Lions are going to need to pay him more than $15 million per year if they want to keep him.
Slay also told someone on Twitter that he would definitely leave Detroit if the Lions tried to lowball him with an offer worth just $8 million per year.
The former second-round pick’s most recent extension came in 2016 when he signed a four-year, $48.15 million deal.
The negotiation between Slay and the Lions will definitely be something to keep an eye on this offseason. Although the three-time Pro Bowler has said, he doesn’t sound like he’ll be offering any sort of hometown discount for the Lions, who drafted him with the 36th overall pick in 2013.
According to ESPN.com, things haven’t exactly been going smoothly in the negotiation department. The two sides haven’t been able to hammer out a new deal even though they’ve been negotiating “for a while.” If the Lions can’t reach a deal with Slay in the coming weeks, the team will potentially look to put him on the trade market heading into free agency.
The good news for Slay is that he seems to be in a solid position at the negotiation table, and that’s mainly because there’s a lot of pressure on coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. Although, they could both end up losing their job if the Lions struggle, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some defensive struggles if they traded away their star corner. Basically, the Lions need Slay, and Slay knows that, which is probably why he has no problem stating publicly that he expects to be the highest-paid corner in the NFL.