The Lions have a cornerback they don’t appear interested in paying, and may trade.
Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the 49ers veteran cornerback said that Slay doesn’t get the respect he deserves because he’s on a perpetually struggling team.
“Slay doesn’t get enough credit and that’s, once again, the market he’s in and sometimes the team doesn’t have a lot of success,” Sherman said. “But he’s one of the quickest, most athletic cornerbacks in our game. Outstanding ball skills. I think over the last five or six years, he has the most pass breakups and interceptions.
“He’s a ball hawk, man. He’s a ball-hawking guy and I have the utmost respect for his game and I enjoy watching him play.”
Sherman said he watches tape of other cornerbacks ever year, and put Slay among the short list of top cover men in the league, along with Stephon Gilmore, Tre’Davious White, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Chris Harris and Xavien Howard.
The two have exchanged jerseys in the past (including after a playoff game), and Sherman has invited Slay to his cornerback summit he hosted at Stanford in 2018.
The Lions are currently struggling with whether (and how) to pay Slay, as he’s entering the final year of his deal and is underpaid at $10 million. He just turned 29, so should have several prime years ahead of him, but they’ve not been able to get a deal done. Last year, when talks soured, he skipped offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp, but still made his third straight Pro Bowl.
They’ve spoken to other teams about a deal (including Denver in the past), and may be ready to move him.
It’s hard to tell how that makes them better — thus making it harder for any other good Lions player to get the credit he deserves either.