It’s not really clear where the Detroit Lions stand right now, but it is obvious that standout cornerback Darius Slay is feeling a little bit disgruntled.
Slay has been the subject of trade rumors leading up to Tuesday’s deadline, and while there’s not a lot of weight to them right now, Slay added some fuel to the fire. He retweeted a tweet from Atlanta Falcons safety Johnathan Cyprien urging the Lions to avoid treating Slay like Calvin Johnson or Barry Sanders, adding the hashtags “#paytheman” and “#freetheman.”
— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) October 28, 2019
What does it mean? Who knows. What we do know is that Slay was pretty outspoken in his disapproval after the Lions abruptly traded defensive back Quandre Diggs last week. We also know that he tried and failed to get a new contract in the offseason. Slay is under contract through next season, but all of these things may be coming to a head right now.
- Darius Slay
The Detroit Lions surprisingly traded defensive back Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, and Lions players didn’t hide their displeasure on social media.
Diggs was dealt to Seattle for a fifth-round pick, as reported on Twitter by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Various Lions players reacted to that report in shock and disappointment.
No members of the team had a stronger reaction than star cornerback Darius Slay, who both questioned the trade and called it “some bull—-.”
— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) October 22, 2019
Defensive lineman Damon Harrison and return man Jamal Agnew also had strong reactions when news of the deal came out.
Wowwwwwwwww no way
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) October 22, 2019
— Mal (@jamalagnew) October 22, 2019
Diggs was a popular member of the Lions’ locker room, and what’s more, this looks like a selling move despite the team being 2-3-1. Considering how close they were to leading the NFC North — and probably should have given the officiating in that game — it’s easy to understand why players are so furious. GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia might have some cleaning up to do over this one.
Darius Slay is not planning to attend the Detroit Lions’ mandatory minicamp as he seeks a new contract.
Slay missed the Lions’ offseason team activities because of his contract status. On Monday, he was talking with fans on Instagram Live and was joined by former teammate Crezdon Butler. During an exchange with Butler, Slay said he would not be going to minicamp.
Butler: Where you at? You in Brunswick?
Slay: No, I’m in Detroit, man. Finally get some heat.
Butler: What y’all got? OTAs? I mean, minicamp?
Slay: I don’t know, I ain’t goin.
Butler: Why you ain’t goin, bro?
Slay: Hey man, I’m chillin’, man.
Butler: You chillin? You ain’t gonna get no money at OTAs anyways.
Slay: Y’all know. Tell me about it.
Slay and recently-acquired defensive lineman Damon Harrison share an agent who encouraged both players to skip OTAs and forfeit their $250,000 workout bonuses in hopes of new contracts.
Slay signed a 4-year $48.15 million contract extension with the Lions three years ago. He is owed $12.5 million in base salary for 2019 and $10 million for 2020. He probably saw the contract Xavien Howard received from the Dolphins and said he needed an upgrade.
Slay, 28, had 43 tackles, three interceptions and 17 passes defended last season. He led the league with eight interceptions in 2017.
- Darius Slay
Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay had one of the biggest plays of his team’s Sunday night win over the New England Patriots, and it’s a memory he won’t soon forget.
Slay intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the fourth quarter of the 26-10 Lions victory, a turnover that didn’t clinch the victory but all but wiped out New England’s realistic chances of making a comeback. Slay, as it turned out, was mentally ready to make the interception, and he even has some memorabilia that he wants Brady to autograph.
“I saw that thing, I said, ‘Ooooh, I have me one,'” Slay said, via Chris Burke of The Athletic. “I was already thinking, ‘It’s from the GOAT? I get this from the GOAT?’ When he done and retired, I’m gonna keep that ball and … I’m gonna ask him to sign it. He’s the GOAT and there’s nothing like having the GOAT’s signature on your picked ball. I doubt if he’d do it, but if he do want to do it, I would gladly send it to him so he could sign that thing.”
Slay is a confident corner, but even he’s a bit awed at picking off someone of Brady’s caliber. Given how good a win it was for Detroit, this one will stick with him.
The first quarter of Saturday’s Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game saw two defensive backs get checked for concussions.
Detroit Lions playmaking cornerback Darius Slay went into the medical tent after a hit to his head on a tackle. He was eventually taken into the locker room to be checked for a concussion.
Additionally, Bears safety Chris Prosinski was placed in concussion protocol after a hit to his head while tackling Eric Ebron.
Prosinski was credited with two tackles in the game before departing, while Slay was credited with one.
Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, several popular names still lead the fray when it comes to defensive production. However, key injuries to superstars like J.J. Watt have created a void that has been filled by some surprising players, many of whom are having career years.
Here’s a look at each NFL team’s best defensive player so far in 2017.
Arizona Cardinals — Tyvon Branch, S
There are a lot of talented defenders on Arizona’s roster, but through six weeks, it’s hard to argue that Tyvon Branch — who has been called a “wolverine” complement to the “honey badger” — isn’t the very best. He not only leads the team and is tied for the league lead with 55 tackles, but he’s also defended four passes, forced a fumble and was named to the Pro Football Focus First Quarter All-Pro Team. Branch getting the nod says a lot about his impact this season when you consider Arizona also has Chandler Jones and his six sacks.
Atlanta Falcons — Deion Jones, LB
Deion Jones has filled out the box score this year, leading the Falcons with 38 tackles. He’s also recorded a sack, three passes defended and an interception. Jones is also among Pro Football Focus’ top 15 graded linebackers this season, alongside teammate De’Vondre Campbell, who has also landed very high grades for Atlanta. Jones is blossoming well for Atlanta in his second NFL season.
- Akiem Hicks, Blake Martinez, Bobby Wagner, Brandon Graham, Brent Grimes, Calais Campbell, Cam Heyward, Cameron Jordan, CJ Mosley, Darius Slay, Deion Jones, Demarcus Lawrence, Geno Atkins, Harrison Smith, Jaquiski Tartt, Jason McCourty, John Simon, Johnathan Joseph, Jordan Poyer, Julius Peppers, Justin Houston, Khalil Mack, Landon Collins, Malcolm Butler, Mark Barron, Melvin Ingram, Morris Claiborne, Reshad Jones, Tyvon Branch, Von Miller, Wesley Woodyard, Zach Brown
It was a big day for star performers across the NFL, with several quarterbacks and wide receivers in particular putting up very big days. We also witnessed a rookie nailing a game-winning 61-yard field goal and a few big defensive performances, even in losing efforts.
Here’s a list of 15 standout performers in Week 3 of the NFL season.
Atlanta’s running backs
In a contest where quarterback Matt Ryan threw three interceptions in one game for the first time in two years, it was the Atlanta running game that stepped up and drove the offense forward. The Falcons picked up 151 rushing yards as a team, with Devonta Freeman contributing 106 of them, plus a touchdown. Tevin Coleman was no slouch either, racking up 46 yards on just six carries, good for an average of 7.7 yards per carry. Their contributions opened up the passing game and allowed Ryan to get the job done despite his three picks.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
OBJ is back, and so is the drama — but when he’s playing like this, the Giants will be happy to tolerate it. The Giants’ star receiver reeled in nine catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns, including an excellent one-handed grab in the back corner of the end zone for his second touchdown catch. He also had a rather controversial celebration on his first grab. He deservedly got flagged, but New York will deal with the consequences if he’s putting up stat lines like this one.