Ahead of free agency, Slay received permission to seek a trade. On March 15, the official start date of free agency, it seemed a release from the club was imminent. However, that same night Slay and the Eagles began to work things out after day-long discussions, and the next day the cornerback agreed to a three-year extension to stay in Philly.
On Saturday, the five-time Pro Bowler revealed on his Big Play Slay podcast that he almost joined the Baltimore Ravens.
"I was almost -- this close -- a Baltimore Raven," Slay said. "I was this close. This close. But I wanted to be an Eagle, I stayed an Eagle because I know me and Howie were going to figure something out. But the Baltimore Ravens were the first team that called, and they offered just what I wanted, and I just said, if the Eagles do that, I'm going to stay an Eagle. It was nice. I almost was a Raven. I was almost a different bird."
Baltimore's need for a cornerback makes sense with Marcus Peters being a free agent. Slay, however, decided to remain an Eagle over a Raven.
Slay, 32, played all 20 regular and postseason games for the Eagles on Philly's road to the Super Bowl, recording three interceptions and 67 combined tackles.
Although Slay is returning, Philly's defense will still look a little different in the 2023 season. Defensive lineman Javon Hargrave decided to sign with the 49ers, while safeties C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps signed with the Lions and Raiders, respectively.
Despite nearly joining the Ravens, Slay will remain an Eagle for the years to come to help out new additions like CB Greedy Williams. Williams came over from the Browns and will now be surrounded by a veteran CB corps in James Bradberry and Slay.
After signing Slay, general manager Howie Roseman will be turning his focus on the 2023 NFL Draft. Roseman and the Eagles front office will have two first-round picks to work with on the first day of the upcoming draft.