OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay was, as he put it, almost a different bird this offseason.
“I was almost — this close — a Baltimore Raven. This close,” said Slay, holding up two fingers close together. “But I wanted to be an Eagle. I stayed an Eagle because I know we were going to figure something out.”
It looked like Slay was parting ways with the Eagles last month. Slay, 32, was granted permission to seek a trade before the start of free agency, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, and he was then expected to get released two weeks ago. But he was never cut and instead signed a three-year, $42 million deal with the Eagles.
The Ravens are looking for a starting cornerback because Marcus Peters is a free agent.
“The Baltimore Ravens were the first team that called,” Slay said. “They offered just what I wanted. I said, ‘If the Eagles do that, I’m going to stay an Eagle.’ It was nice now. I was almost a Raven.”
Slay, who had been entering the final year of contract, was a key part of an Eagles defense that led the league in pass defense (179.8 yards per game), helping Philadelphia to a 14-3 regular-season mark en route to an appearance in Super Bowl LVII.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Slay has 26 interceptions, 133 passes defended and 533 tackles in his career.