Who won the Darius Slay trade?

The Philadelphia Eagles missed on the top free agent cornerbacks, but a trade for Darius Slay still fills their need at the position.

The Philadelphia Eagles were among the rumored suitors for Byron Jones and Chris Harris, only to see both land elsewhere in free agency. But a move to the trade market for a top cornerback has yielded fruit, with multiple reports they have acquired Darius Slay from the Detroit Lions for a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.

Slay made his desire to be one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league clear, and it was also clear the Lions weren’t going to pony up. A trade felt inevitable, and now it’s done.

According to multiple reports, the Eagles will sign Slay to a three-year, $50 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. That $16.67 million average edges out the $16.5 million average Jones got in his deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Slay often shadows the opponent’s No. 1 wide receiver all over the field, outside as well as in the slot.

The primary takeaway from the above data (which is not that impressive overall) is how Slay did against Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper, who he’ll now go up against twice a season. Slay also had a lingering hamstring issue that cost him two games.

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If Slay can neutralize Cooper as he has previously, that alone will make him worth the investment the Eagles have made over the next three years. Two draft picks that are coin-flip propositions in terms of becoming difference makers to get a much-needed legit No. 1 corner is a worthy cost. Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman is not afraid to be aggressive when it’s warranted. He has struck again with a deal to get Slay, and Philadelphia’s biggest need has been addressed.

Grade: A-

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