Ramblings: We all want Detroit Lions to bring back Darius Slay, but they probably shouldn’t

‘Big Play’ Slay is beloved in Detroit, but doesn’t fit current roster

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2019, file photo, Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) celebrates an interception against the Chicago Bears during an NFL football game in Detroit. The Lions agreed to trade cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles, ending the standout defensive back's seven-year stint in Detroit. Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the trade Thursday, March 19, 2020, and that Slay has agreed to a three-year, $50 million extension with Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File) (Rick Osentoski, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – When the news broke Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles plan to release beloved cornerback Darius Slay, most Detroit Lions fans probably had the same knee-jerk reaction.

“Bring him back!”

It would be so fun. “Big Play” Slay was one of the team’s best players, and his personality made him a star off the field, too. Pretty much everybody loves Darius Slay. Except Matt Patricia (which made everyone love Slay even more).

It also feels like a chance at redemption, since the Lions infamously traded Slay for third- and a fifth-round picks only to watch him continue to dominate in Philadelphia.

Throughout his time with the Eagles, Slay continued to show Detroit love, which endeared him to the fan base even more. So if he signed with the Lions, the approval rating would be through the roof.

But, *sigh,* it’s probably not the right thing to do.

General manager Brad Holmes has already made one very tough decision this offseason, signing former Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery instead of fan favorite Jamaal Williams. It stinks that Williams probably won’t be back in Detroit, but the Lions got a more versatile player for likely less cost. Fine, we accept.

Holmes is probably going to do the same thing with Slay. Even though he might have interest in returning to Detroit, and fans would love to welcome him back, he’s not a great match with the current roster.

Detroit has already agreed to sign Cam Sutton to a three-year deal and Emmanuel Moseley to a one-year deal since the NFL’s negotiation period opened this week. On top of that, the Lions are expected to bring back Will Harris to join Jerry Jacobs and Jeff Okudah in the existing secondary.

Slay has been one of the best and most consistent cornerbacks in the NFL over the past decade, but last year he was more solid than elite. There might be a team out there willing to pay a lot more for that than the Lions, especially since they have other needs to address.

Lions fans will always have a soft spot for Slay, and it would be fun to see him play for a more respectable version of the team. But yeah, it’s probably not going to happen. And that’s OK.

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 17: Darius Slay #23 of the Detroit Lions talks with Quandre Diggs #28 in the second half against the Houston Texans during the preseason game at NRG Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.