Reversal: Darius Slay staying with the Eagles after nearly being released; fletcher cox back

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It looks like Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay is finally getting laid.

Reports surfaced Wednesday that the Eagles were going release Slay with a post-June 1 designation, thus saving approximately $18 million on the salary cap. But late Wednesday night news came that an agreement has been reached between the two sides.

Slay confirmed this via a tweet.

“Back like I never left!!! Drive it back”

It marked an interesting start the new league year on Wednesday, reportedly signing veteran defensive tackle Fletcher Cox on a one-year deal worth $10 million, while losing running back Miles Sanders to the Carolina Panthers on a four-year deal. Had to face Value as much as $25 million.

Slay will be reunited with cornerback James Bradberry, who signed a three-year deal reportedly worth $38 million. The Eagles made the signing of Bradberry official on Wednesday. They also signed free agent running back Rashaan Penny and re-signed running back Boston Scott.

Slay, who had one more year left on his contract, tweeted the news Wednesday morning that he was not returning.

“Nothing but love from Philly!! Let’s see where we go next..”

The Eagles gave Slay permission seek a trade last week, and Slay admitted on his podcast that he not only asked for a trade, but wanted to sign an extension with the Eagles.

It is likely that Slay, who was selected the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons and five times overall, is returning on a low-cost contract. He was entering the final year of his three-year, $50 million deal, but would have counted $26 million on the salary cap.

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The Eagles could give Slay an extension, thus reducing his cap hit in 2023 while adding at least one more guaranteed year. It was a risky proposition as Slay is 32 years old. Maybe this is what happened in the end.

Slay’s supposed return could mean the Eagles may have work harder to keep safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who is also a free agent. Gardner-Johnson tied for the NFL lead with 6 interceptions despite missing five games.

Cox, meanwhile, was the Eagles’ first-round draft pick in 2012. He has been selected the Pro Bowl six times in consecutive seasons from 2015–2020. But Cox, 32, had 7 sacks last season, his most since 2018 when he had 10.5.

Cox ranks seventh in team history in games played with 173, behind other returners in games played Brandon Graham (178) and Jason Kelce (176). Cox ranks fifth all-time with 65 sacks, just five behind Graham, who is fourth.

Cox will return a defensive tackle rotation that will not have Javon Hargrave, who is signing with the 49ers for the equivalent of $84 million for 4 years; and veterans Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph. At defensive tackle, the Eagles return 2022 first-round pick Jordan Davis, 2021 third-round pick Milton Williams, as well as Marlon Tuipulotu, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.

Cox will provide veteran depth.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) with an interception as Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) tries chase him down on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Philadelphia.

So is Will Slay, who is still considered one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL at age 32. He had three interceptions last season, his 10th in the NFL. The Eagles traded for him in the spring of 2020, sending a third and fifth-round draft pick the Detroit Lions. Slay was the Lions’ second-round pick in 2013.

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And now it appears as though Slay will be sticking around.

Contact Martin Frank at [email protected] Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This article was originally published on the Delaware News Journal: Reversal: Darius Slay is staying with the Eagles, and so is Fletcher Cox