Philadelphia Eagles: Darius Slay is trying to lure Steven Nelson to Philly

Dec 15, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown (15) makes a catch in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson (22) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Buffalo won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 15, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown (15) makes a catch in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson (22) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Buffalo won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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A name that just keeps on popping up in Philadelphia Eagles related rumors this offseason, current Eagles corner Darius Slay is the latest to add some fuel to the “Steven Nelson fire.” By way of a brief Twitter exchange, Slay made it be known that he is all for Nelson joining him in Philadelphia, with Nelson responding that “It could all be so simple my man #Nelsonisland”:

Due to the Philadelphia Eagles less-than-stellar cornerback room (Michael Jacquet is the current favorite to start the year at CB2), Nelson is a name that has been frequently connected to Philly this offseason. He’s a boundary corner who is still very much in his athletic prime (28 years old), and someone who would be worth inking to a multi-year contract. The Eagles are currently in a rebuilding phase, so it makes little sense to dedicate a ton of money to a free agent corner like Richard Sherman, where as Nelson should still be around by the time the team is ready to contend again.

Thus far, the market for Nelson has been oddly quiet, which has seemingly opened up an opportunity for Howie Roseman and Co. to snag him on a team-friendly contract. Last time I checked, Nelson and his agent were asking for $4-5 million per year, whereas Roseman and the Eagles were looking for something more in the $2-3 million range:

"It’s about what he is willing to accept at this point. There’s leverage on the club’s standpoint because they know what his value is, and it is nowhere near what he wants. If he gets a deal around $4 million or $5 million, I think in the end, that is what he’ll get. The Eagles are looking to pay $2 million or $3 million from what I understand, so we will see what happens and see if they can reel him in or somebody else before training camp.”Via Adam Caplan on “The Adam Caplan Show”"

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If a difference of $2-3 million doesn’t seem like a whole lot, well, you’re correct. However, due to Howie Roseman’s mismanagement of the salary cap over the past few seasons, the organization is simply not in a position where they can afford that extra few million, even with Nelson presenting a considerable upgrade at the cornerback position.

Here’s a bit of what I wrote last week about Nelson and the Eagles current cap situation:

"The Eagles are already pressed right up against the league’s salary cap – they simply don’t have extra cash lying around to pay Nelson what he’s asking for at the moment. Even at $2-3 million per year, any deal with Nelson would have to be seriously backloaded with multiple “dummy years” from the Philadelphia Eagles side of things to keep them under the salary cap."

Darius Slay is doing his best to recruit free agent corner Steven Nelson to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In theory, Roseman and the Eagles could just double-down on adding more and more dummy years to their payroll, a tactic that has resulted in their current financial situation. It’s not the wisest of strategies considering they already had to backload money for the likes of offseason additions Anthony Harris and Eric Wilson. Roseman could also look to restructure another veteran contract or two that’s already on the books, however that comes with it’s own set of risks as well.

In the meantime, Slay is just going to have to keep buttering up Nelson, in hopes that he lowers his asking price over the next few weeks (or days).

Related Story. PFF names the Philadelphia Eagles as having a bottom-5 roster in the NFL. light