Adding Darius Slay makes Eagles legitimate Super Bowl contenders

Trading for Darius Slay doesn’t fix all of the problems with the Eagles secondary, but it’s enough to make the group good enough to win a Super Bowl.

The Eagles front office came into the offseason with a clear understanding that they needed to add significant talent to their secondary. Trading for Darius Slay checks that box in a big way for officials in Philadelphia.

It wasn’t exactly a cheap transaction from the Eagles point of view. First, they had to give up a third and fifth round pick to acquire Slay’s rights from the Lions. More importantly, they had to follow up the trade by giving the talented cornerback a three-year extension that could pay him up to $50 million over the life of the deal. At least $30 million of the deal is guaranteed no matter what.

The deal clearly nets out as a big win for the Eagles. The team simply could not afford to go into the 2020 regular season with the same questions at cornerback that plagued them in 2019. Adding Slay to the mix gives them a legitimate No. 1 defensive back who can match up with their opponents’ top wide receivers on a weekly basis next season.

It’s hard to articulate just how valuable that will be to the Eagles defense. It will obviously take a ton of pressure off guys like Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones. The chances of one member of that trio emerging as a quality No. 2 cornerback are much higher than the dreams of any of them ascending to the No. 1 spot. Those guys will all look much more competent in 2020 due to Slay’s arrival.

The more subtle impact Slay will have on the team’s defense will actually be felt by the Eagles’ pass rushers. Guys like Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and Javon Hargrave will now be afforded more time to actually reach opposing quarterbacks. Don’t be surprised if several guys along the Philadelphia defensive front notch career highs in sack totals due to Slay’s ability to shut down the opposition.

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If the Eagles want to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this season they will still need quite a few breaks to go their way. Adding Slay to solidify their weak secondary does give them the talent required to be Super Bowl contenders though. He immediately turns the team’s biggest weakness into a respectable group.

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