Eagles fans rejoice! Howie made his first blockbuster splash this offseason by acquiring Detroit Lions Pro-Bowl CB Darius Slay in exchange for two mid round draft selections.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020
The move comes a day after the Eagles let Malcolm Jenkins walk and sign with the New Orleans Saints, so a need in the already struggling secondary was evident.
Acquiring Slay is definitely one of Howie’s most significant moves in his tenure with the Eagles and could go down as one of the best. Let’s take a deeper look into the move below.
An Elite Caliber CB: Rarity for Philly
When you think of elite play at the cornerback position for the Eagles recently, not many names come to mind. Asante Samuel, who played for Philadelphia from 2008-2011, was probably the last time the Eagles had a top tier player at the position.
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) March 19, 2020
Maybe they were scared off from the Nnamdi Asomugha signing backfiring on them in 2012 but the need for a player of Slay’s caliber has been a long time coming. His talent should make dividends from the very first day.
Beat the Market Reset
With his new deal, Darius Slay is the highest paid player at his position in the league but that will only last briefly.
In 2021, a few things are happening:
- The NFL cap space is expected to jump to around $240 million, a +$40mil increase.
- Premier CBs hit the market – Jalen Ramsey, Tre’Davious White, Patrick Peterson
Both of these happenings will most definitely reset the market for cornerbacks and all positions across the league. Slay’s big time deal will look a lot more affordable for a All-Pro caliber player a year from now.
More Focus on Wentz and the Offense
Pulling a trade off as significant as this one just 1 day into the official start of free agency, gives the Eagles a clearer path to follow for the rest of the offseason.
This move also comes after Philadelphia’s signing of Steelers NT Javon Hargrave, who’s expected to be a big time producer on the defensive line.
They’ll probably continue addressing other parts of the defense, but expect most of the attention to revolve around Carson Wentz and the offense now. This upcoming draft class is rich with receivers and there are still a few interesting names that could be had in free agency and trades.
Featured Image: Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.