Why the Raiders should trade for Darius Slay and what it would cost

Raiders, Darius Slay (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Raiders, Darius Slay (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders should make a serious push to trade for Detroit Lions star cornerback Darius Slay. But what could it possibly cost?

The Las Vegas Raiders have taken full advantage of the official start of NFL free agency. The team has overhauled their defense through eight reported signings.

Players like Cory Littleton, Carl Nassib, Jeff Heath, Maliek Collins, Eli Apple, and Nick Kwiatkoski will drastically help improve a horrid 2019 defensive unit. However, the team cannot become complacent with their current roster.

While the Raiders do have a considerable amount of draft capital, the roster is in need of more work. The quarterback position still feels uneasy. The team has an immediate need for talent at wide receiver. And the offensive line could stand to be improved.

However, now that the team has filled in the gaps at linebacker and defensive line, there is one position that needs to be addressed above all others — cornerback.

The top options in free agency have already been taken off the board. Byron Jones is taking his talents to South Beach as a member of the Miami Dolphins, while James Bradberry has reached an agreement with the New York Giants.

Despite the lack of difference-making talent in the free agency pool, there is one player who would instantly make the Raiders’ secondary dangerous — Darius Slay.

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

The Player

Darius Slay is widely considered to be a top-10 cornerback in the NFL. The seven-year veteran has spent his entire career as a member of the Detroit Lions, establishing himself as an elite option in 2017.

The three-time Pro-Bowler is also still only 29-years-old. This means that he could make a significant impact in Las Vegas for the next few seasons.

The Cost

The Lions’ asking price for Slay may not be as high as one would imagine. Despite his clear talent, the team has been open about their willingness to move away from their franchise star.

The Denver Broncos were recently able to acquire Pro-Bowler A.J. Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars for the low price of a fourth-round pick. While Slay will likely have a higher price tag, USA Today has speculated that he could be acquired for a pick as late as the third round.

Part of the reason behind this cheap asking price is Slay’s desire for a major contract upgrade. He is owed $10 million in 2020 (this is also the final year of his contract). He is reportedly seeking as much as $17 million per season in his new deal.

However, the Raiders may be one of the few teams in a good position to make this type of transaction. They still have a fair amount of remaining cap space, as well as three picks in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

If Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are serious about solving their pass defense dilemma, they could easily offer a package of a third and fourth-round pick, as well as a new contract for Slay.

The Lions seem ready to move Slay for something of value before they let him walk away as a free agent. Because of this fact, the Raiders would be wise not to overpay.

However, considering their plethora of picks, I would feel comfortable parting with multiple picks on the second day of the draft in exchange for a Pro-Bowler who plays a key position.

More from Golden Gate Sports

The Impact

The value of adding a top-tier cornerback cannot be overstated. In a league dominated by superstar quarterbacks and wide receivers, it is imperative that a defense can contain the opposition.

While the recent signing of Apple helps ease this need a bit, they still have a long way to go.

Raiders Nation should be excited at the prospect of playing with an upgraded linebacking corps and defensive line. However, these units will be severely limited by a poor secondary.

If Vegas chose to make the aforementioned offer for Slay, they would still have two first-round picks to bolster their offense and potentially add a second cornerback.

The Conclusion

Regardless of the path they take, the Raiders have the means to fix their needs. If they can acquire Darius Slay for a package of middle-round picks, they should seriously consider doing so.

If the asking price to too high, they can then pivot to addressing their need at cornerback with the first-round selections.

That being said, the upside of adding an All-Pro caliber cornerback is likely much higher than anyone the team would gain through any of their third-round picks.

dark. Next. Raiders: Letter grades for every 2020 free agent signing so far

Mayock and Gruden should reach out to Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn today!