Slay Details Incidents With Patricia That Ruined Their Relationship

The Lions' decision to trade Darius Slay stemmed in part from his fractured relationship with Matt Patricia. On his way out the door following Thursday's trade to the Eagles, Slay said he didn't respect Patricia as a person. 

In Slay's mind, their man-to-man relationship was ruined by a couple things Patricia told him shortly after arriving in 2018. One thing, in particular. 

"He told me in front of the whole team, in the team meeting room, showed clips of me in practice getting a ball caught on me. I posted a picture (of a wide receiver on social media), and he told me, stop sucking this man’s private. So I’m like, 'Whoa.' I’m like, 'Hold up.' Where I’m from, that don’t fly. Cause I wouldn’t say that to him. I wouldn’t say to him to stop you-know-what to Bill Belichick. I wouldn’t do that. That’s just not me as a man. That’s disrespectful to me and so from there on it was done with," Slay told the Free Press

Slay said it's fortunate he was sitting next to Glover Quin at the time, otherwise things may have escalated. 

"There’s no telling what could have happened, honestly, cause the fact that I couldn’t believe it," Slay said. "And from where I’m from, stuff gets said like that, a lot of stuff happens. ... And GQ sat there and was just like, 'Nah, calm down Slay. Calm down Slay. You know where it’s going.'"

That was during training camp. And it was after Slay and Patricia got off on the wrong foot based off one of their first interactions in the 2018 offseason. Slay said Patricia chastised him for working out with fellow cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib and Xavier Rhodes, adding that Slay, who was coming off an All-Pro season, didn't belong in their 'elite' company. 

“He told me, out of his mouth, he said, 'Those are elite guys. You’re not elite. You’re a good player, but they are elite. And Sherman’s smart. He used you.' He tried to say Sherm used me to know what Marvin Jones do. I said, 'He can find out what Marvin Jones do watching film. That ain’t got nothing to do with me.' What am I going to tell him? I don’t know the offense. I know route combinations, (but) I ain't going to know the offense,'" Slay said. 

Patricia made adjustments to his coaching style in 2019, after rubbing several players the wrong way in 2018. Slay said it helped their relationship to a degree, but there was no going back on what Patricia said to him during that team meeting. 

"Your first impression always your best impression. Like I said, I would never disrespect him in that way. And for him to be able to tell me I’m out here sucking another man’s crank because of a picture I post, I ain’t like that," said Slay. "And it took me a whole nother level."

Despite his feelings for Patricia, Slay made it clear he was open to staying in Detroit for the right money. He told the Free Press he had a "great relationship" with GM Bob Quinn, who had frequent talks with Slay's agent over the past year. Ultimately, the Lions weren't willing to give the three-time Pro Bowler the kind of contract he landed Thursday from the Eagles: three years, $50 million.