Slay Watch: Quinn Says Lions 'Trying To Explore A Trade'

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On one hand, the Lions are trying to work out a new contract for Darius Slay. On the other, they're actively trying to trade him

It's the latter endeavor that will likely come to fruition. 

"What we’re trying to do is explore a trade," Lions GM Bob Quinn told reporters Tuesday at the NFL combine, via the Free Press. "That’s not saying we are definitely trading him. We’ve had some conversations with other teams. There’s nothing to report right now. I think we’re very much in the information-gathering phase of this and those conversations from here on out will be private between us, the teams and the representatives for Darius, and Darius himself."

Slay wants a new deal before next season, in the neighborhood of $17 million per year. The Lions aren't inclined to give him that kind of money, or they would have done so by now. Quinn said last week the two sides 'have had a lot of good talks ... including in the last couple of weeks,' but Slay has made it clear he's not lowering his demands. 

The Lions could opt to keep Slay for the final year of his contract -- "Everything’s on the table," Quinn said -- but a disgruntled star is the last thing the team needs in its locker room heading into a crucial season for Quinn and Matt Patricia. 

A trade before the draft feels like the most probable outcome, with the Lions likely netting a second-round pick. They could also look to make a deal before free agency begins next month if they wish to replace Slay on the open market. 

"Have not put a time frame on it," Quinn said of a potential trade. "Could be sooner, could be later, but there’s nothing been set in stone about a date."

Those conversations will likely heat up this week, with Quinn acknowledging "this is the best time to" talk with other teams.