Outside of injuries, there isn’t a whole lot of reporting to be done at OTAs, unless your two best defensive players choose not to show up.
That’s what happened in Allen Park when CB Darius Slay and DT Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison stayed home, while the rest of the Detroit Lions hit the practice field.
Valenti isn’t a fan of either holding out, but thinks one has a better case than the other.
“I think Snacks has a way better case than Slay because Slay is already paid in full. He’s probably looking for like a million or two more. Snacks is grossly underpaid. Point is, both guys have multiple years left so I don’t know what kind of leverage they think they have.”
Both players have two years left on their deals. Slay cap hit is $15.9 million in ‘19, the highest in terms of cornerbacks, so it’s interesting that Slay wants more. His cap hit does dip down to $13.4 million in 2020, but why complain now? His stats do hold up, he has the most pass breakups since 2016, 56, and second-most interceptions in the past three seasons, 13, but his contract reflects that.
Harrison is a totally different story.
Harrison is viewed as one of the best interior lineman in the NFL, at the very least a top 10 DT, but his contract leaves him very underpaid. His cap hit in 2019 is $7 million, the 16th highest for a defensive tackle. The impact he had for Detroit, completely turning around the defensive after Detroit acquired him from the New York Giants, gives him more or a claim for a contract than Slay.
“I think it’s nonsense. I think it’s another case of an athlete acting like a child on social media. I think it’s fans taking a childish comment and pushing the envelope on just how immature we can be and going crazy about it. I don’t care. Get your ass to camp when it opens on July 23rd. If he’s not at camp, I’ll care. Outside of that, everything else is noise, to me.”
Even if Slay shows to camp, extending him and giving him the money that he wants would be a mistake according to Valenti.