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CB Darius Slay reveals he almost signed with the Ravens

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Among the Baltimore Ravens’ list of needs this offseason, adding talent to their cornerback room ranks highly. Veteran Marcus Peters is an unrestricted free agent, leaving a vacancy at the No. 2 spot on the depth chart — should the Ravens not re-sign him.

It’s now apparent that the Ravens attempted to replace Peters with another free agent cornerback not long ago. On an episode of his “Big Play Slay” podcast this week, Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerback Darius Slay revealed that he nearly agreed to a deal with the Ravens in free agency.

Following their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in this year’s Super Bowl matchup, the Eagles reportedly gave Slay permission to seek a trade to another team. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the team had released Slay instead, making him a free agent.

Holding his fingers only inches apart, Slay claimed he was “this close” to signing with the Ravens and departing from Philadelphia.

“The Baltimore Ravens were the first team that called and they offered just want I wanted,” Slay said. “It was nice now, I almost was a Raven — I was almost a different bird.”

Slay also noted that he gave the Eagles a chance to match the contract that the Ravens had offered him, which evidently they did. The former All-Pro cornerback ultimately signed a new two-year extension with Philadelphia worth $42 million and $23 million in guaranteed money. So, based on his words, we know the Ravens were willing to pay him this same amount.

The 32-year-old veteran would have been a significant acquisition for the Ravens and given the team a high-level cornerback pairing between him and Marlon Humphrey. Slay has made the Pro Bowl in five of the past six seasons, including back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022.

This is not the first time the Ravens have been keen on a potential big-name free agent signing and narrowly missed out in the end. Last offseason, they were in the late running to acquire linebacker Bobby Wagner and edge rusher Za’Darius Smith but ultimately failed to close the deal. Same with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2021, as well.

While unfortunate, this is interesting to learn given the Ravens have been very quiet in free agency thus far and some believe they’re hamstrung by the Lamar Jackson contract situation. Evidently this is not entirely the case, as they were prepared to sign Slay to a sizeable deal.

The Ravens also brought in cornerback Rock Ya-Sin for a free agent visit a couple of weeks ago, so acquiring a player at the position appears to be a high priority.