The Detroit Lions are looking to sign cornerback Darius Slay to a long-term deal this offseason and are scheduled to meet with his agent at the upcoming NFL Combine, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.
Slay finished the 2015 regular season as the second best cornerback in the league, and he was considered Detroit's best defensive player this past season, according to Pro Football Focus. The former second round pick out of Mississippi State developed into a elite corner in his third year in the league and recorded 59 combined tackles, two interceptions, and defended 13 passes during the 2015 regular season.
Slay is entering the final year of his contract in 2016, and Detroit's front office is looking to lock him up with a long-term extension this offseason. The Lions are looking to avoid contract negotiations when Slay is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, as the franchise tag will cost $17 million next year, according to Cole.
The Lions already lost veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis this offseason when he announced his retirement, and they could be looking to target additional corners in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Lions have needs at offensive tackle, wide receiver, cornerback and linebacker this offseason, but they will look for Slay to be a leader on their defense for years to come.
Detroit finished in third place in the NFC North with a 7-9 record last season, and it will be interesting to follow them both in free agency and in the draft with their newly appointed general manager Bob Quinn.