Richard Sherman says Darius Slay ‘doesn’t get enough credit’ because he plays for Lions

Darius Slay has been one of the game’s top cornerbacks for the past several seasons, making three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and finishing with multiple interceptions for six straight seasons. Slay and the Detroit Lions are at a crossroads as the 29-year old cornerback has one year left on his current contract, one he has outperformed. 

While Slay has indicated on Twitter he wants a new deal that makes him one of the highest paid cornerbacks in the league, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman believes Slay deserves the money that’s coming his way, indicating he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the league. 

Does playing in Detroit make Slay go unnoticed? 

“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, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “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.”

Slay has been tasked with covering the opposing team’s No. 1 wide receiver over the past several seasons. Even battling a hamstring injury in 2019 couldn’t slow Slay down as opposing quarterbacks had just an 81.6 passer rating when targeting Slay, who led the team with two interceptions and 13 passes defensed. In Slay’s First Team All-Pro season of 2017, he led the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed. 

Slay signed a four-year, $50 million contract extension in 2016, but has outplayed the deal. He is owed $10 million in base salary in 2020 and his average annual salary of $12,037,500 is 13th highest in the NFL (per Spotrac). The Lions will have to decide whether to force Slay to play out the last year of his deal, sign him to an extension, or trade him and get compensation. 

A Slay extension is expected to be one of the highest contracts for cornerbacks in the game. Xavien Howard is the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, making an average annual salary of $15,050,000 while Trumaine Johnson makes an average of $14.5 million a year. 

What the Lions decide with Slay in the coming weeks will be one of the storylines this offseason, especially since plenty of teams are in desperate need of a cornerback. Playing in a different market could be the ticket for Slay to get the recognization he deserves, at least according to Sherman. 

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