A 5-Time Pro Bowl CB Is Available

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings signed former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy on Tuesday night, but why stop there?

The club could stand to become richer in its CB room, and now thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles, a new snazzy free agent is available.

A 5-Time Pro Bowl CB Is Available

That’s Darius Slay, a totally attainable free agent on the open market as of Wednesday.

Time Pro Bowl CB
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on free agency day No. 3, “Eagles and Darius Slay could not work out a restructured contract and he will be a free agent today at 4 pm, per sources.”

Even Slay personally seemed giddy about his next stop, posting to Twitter, “Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next..”

Slay isn’t young — he’s 32 — but adding him to the Vikings roster before another team would, beyond the shadow of a doubt, solidify the underwhelming CB room. For now, the Vikings employ the aforementioned Murphy from Arizona, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Kalon Barnes, and Tay Gowan as prospective starting corners. That hodgepodge is fine and dandy, but the club needs one or two more quality CBs. Plain and simple.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) warms up before playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12, 2023. © Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

His pricetag is open for interpretation. Minnesota landed Murphy for two years and $22 million, meaning Slay will clear at least that — and probably a little more, possibly in the $14 million-per-year range. The Vikings still have cap-clearing measures to conduct, with moves involving Dalvin Cook, Harrison Smith, and Za’Darius Smith likely on the horizon. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could also restructure Brian O’Neill’s deal to free up more cap space if needed.

Slay was sensational in 2022, visiting a Super Bowl, earning another Pro Bowl nod — he has five in his career — and serving as the only man to truly lock down Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson. Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will claim he did the trick, too, but he had a lot of help, unlike Slay in Week 2 of the regular season.

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Teams reportedly tried to trade for Slay before his release — understandably so — but now the man is gettable sans draft picks. He felt like he could be heading toward a similar fate as fellow superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins, but no, Slay is on the free-agent wire.

It is unclear if the Vikings have serious interest in Slay, especially after signing Murphy to a handsome deal, but cornerback was a documented weakness in 2022, and Minnesota ranked 27th in the league per defensive DVOA. Brian Flores took over as the Vikings defensive coordinator in February and is tasked with revamping that side of the ball. Adding Slay for a year or two could nail down a chief roster need.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.