The Detroit Lions are switching up their identity based on the moves they are making in the offseason. The Lions traded three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles for a pair of draft choices.
The Lions will receive a third-and fifth-round pick in the draft. Slay was a fan favorite in Detroit, and Slay’s departure was expected with him and the team spending the past few years at odds.
His defensive leadership will be missed in the Lions’ secondary. Not only did Slay make an impact on the field, but he also made an impact in the community of Detroit.
Darius Slay’s career in Detroit
Darius Slay, 29, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. During his career with the Lions, he was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2017 and was the NFL interceptions co-leader in 2017. He finished with 347 tackles, 19 interceptions and 104 pass deflections as a member of the Lions.
The Lions have struggled over the past few seasons, and Slay has remained a bright spot on the team. It will be a bittersweet feeling for Lions’ fans. Slay received his first selection to the 2018 Pro Bowl. That year he had eight interceptions on the season and had a career-high 26 pass deflections.
Slay made the playoffs twice in his career in 2014 and 2016, and the Lions lost both Wild Card games.
Slay wanted out of Detroit
Darius Slay has had success in the league the past three years while the Lions continued to struggle. With his value, the Lions were not a good fit for him. He could easily be on a team that can contend for a Super Bowl.
With the moves the Lions were making this offseason, it was only a matter of time before Slay was going to leave. In a Twitter post, Slay congratulated cornerback Desmond Trufant on signing with the Lions, and he said: “Hope that speeds up my trade process!”
The Lions’ defense will have a new look come next season. Lions’ head coach Matt Patricia is working hard this offseason to turn the organization around.
Slay’s impact in the community
Darius Slay loved the city of Detroit. He hosted numerous youth camps and gave back to the community as well. His presence will be missed by a lot of people, especially the kids. He was a big advocate for nonprofit organizations as well.
Slay would also attend local high school games. He would reach out on social medial to find what game would be the best one to attend that week, and when he found out, he was there. He would take photos with fans and players too. Fans loved to see what Slay was doing and how he interacted with the people. He embraced this city and made it his home. Now that he’s no longer a member of the Detroit Lions, his time in Detroit will not go to waste. Slay was a true leader for the Lions on and off the field.