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Darius Slay conducts the Keenan Allen hype train

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NFL Pro Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The picture from the top of this article is Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay tackling LA Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen. With recent context, it occurs to me that having to tackle Allen must have crushed Slay, because clearly there is a lot of love between these two players. That was evident on Twitter this week as Slay hyped up Allen, a supposed natural “enemy” at receiver.

Slay hypes up Allen for being so elite at getting cornerbacks off the line but also references how many interceptions Philip Rivers threw and Allen’s hustle thereafter. It’s a bit of a backhanded compliment of the Chargers, however we now know that the quarterback won’t be back.

And Slay wants a new contract or he wants out of Detroit. Does he want into LA? Allen wasn’t afraid to respond with a thank you and acknowledge that “yeah, I hustled after all those picks.”

The Lions are reportedly open to shopping Slay, who apparently wants a new contract at $15 million per year. At present, the only corner making $15 million per year on his deal is Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins. Howard is also two years younger than the 29-year-old Slay, for what it’s worth. Were Slay to become a free agent, he may be able to land such a deal though he has one more year left on his contract and that has a base salary of $10 million.

During his entire career as LA’s GM, Tom Telesco has made six trades. In those six trades, he has acquired one player: Cardale Jones in 2017 for a conditional seventh round pick that did not convey. Every other trade he’s made has been for a draft pick. So it would be quite unusual if the Chargers traded for Slay, but it is quite unusual that they won’t have Rivers, so maybe 2020 is a year of change.

It appears that Slay will at least be relieved of not having to face Allen again. Until the Pro Bowl at least.