He's all smiles, and that's the way Darius "Big Play" Slay wants it. He spent Friday afternoon with the Eagles going through a complete physical examination, saying hello to coaches, players, and Eagles staff at the NovaCare Complex, and then, late in the day, sitting down to sign a contract extension that keeps him in Philadelphia through the 2025 season.
"It feels amazing, honestly," he said, smiling, of course. "The way things have worked out, I feel so appreciated. Philly is my second home and I'm thankful. It's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting ready and going to work."
Slay credited communication as the key to the new deal – "talking over time" – and the fact that Slay wanted to be an Eagle and, clearly, the Eagles wanted him to extend his time here. After seven seasons in Detroit, Slay came to the Eagles in a 2020 offseason trade and instantly upgraded the impact in the defensive secondary.
In his three seasons here, Slay has been selected to two Pro Bowls and contributed seven interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns (both in the 2021 campaign). Elected as a team captain for the 2022 season, Slay and James Bradberry teamed to become a shutdown duo on the corners as the Eagles' defense led the NFL against the pass during a Super Bowl season.
"It's been a fun ride and I've done a lot of things here that I've never done in the league before," Slay said. "I'm thankful. Being a captain, that's one of the biggest achievements in my career. Having that big, old 'C' on my chest means a lot. Winning these games, reaching the Super Bowl – I'm upset we didn't win the game – that's all been amazing.
"I'm looking forward to running it back and hopefully finishing the job. It was a great experience playing in that game and I want that feeling again. We've got a great team, a great coaching staff, and that's the standard we have here and that's the standard I have."
Slay entered the NFL as a 2013 second-round draft pick and he's been as good as anyone at his position in the game since that time. The new contract cemented another goal he has: To finish his career with the Eagles.
"I plan on retiring as an Eagle. I'm not gonna lie," he said. "When my time is up, my time will be up from here."