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NFL Free Agency 2020: Recapping Darius Slay Trade, Other Top Moves of Day 2

Kristopher Knox

Though Thursday marked only the second official day of NFL free agency, the market has essentially been open since the legal tampering period began Monday. Naturally, many of the league's top available stars are no longer available.

Of Bleacher Report's top 10 free agents of 2020, only Jadeveon Clowney remains.

However, that doesn't mean that Day 2 was devoid of action. On the contrary, there was plenty of it, and it was kicked off by one of the most notable trades of the offseason so far.

The Philadelphia Eagles dealt third- and fifth-round selections to the Detroit Lions for cornerback Darius Slay and subsequently signed the Pro Bowler to a long-term deal, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport:

That's a huge get for the Eagles, who ranked 19th in pass defense last season. They were not the only team interested in acquiring Slay. According to The Athletic's Vic Tafur, the Las Vegas Raiders were also in on Slay.

"The Raiders really wanted former Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones but got nudged out at the finish line when he landed with Miami, and league sources say they are kicking the tires on a possible trade for Lions corner Darius Slay," Tafur wrote.

Slay became expendable when the Lions signed free-agent cornerback Desmond Trufant. However, Detroit had discussed dealing him long before that, and Slay appeared ready for the move:

While that trade was arguably the most significant move of Day 2, it was far from the only one. Let's run down some of the day's action.


Rams Release Todd Gurley

The other headline-grabbing new from Thursday was the Los Angeles Rams' release of running back Todd Gurley. The team announced the move just before Gurley was due to earn another $10.5 million in guarantees. 

Los Angeles had been trying to trade the three-time Pro Bowler, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. However, it had little leverage with other teams knowing that his release was likely to come Thursday.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, L.A. will still have to pay Gurley a $7.55 million roster bonus but does escape the additional guarantees by releasing the team's 2015 first-round pick:

The #Rams still owe Todd Gurley a $7.55 million roster bonus tomorrow, but escape the additional $10.5M in salary and bonuses that would've become fully guaranteed at 4 p.m. He leaves behind $12.6M in dead money on the salary cap over the next two years.

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2020


Washington Adding Logan Thomas

The Washington Redskins agreed to a deal with quarterback-turned-tight-end Logan Thomas, according to ESPN's John Keim. The 28-year-old spent last season with the Lions and finished with 16 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown. He caught his first passes as a tight end in 2017.

Washington needed to bolster its tight end group after parting with Jordan Reed and losing Vernon Davis to retirement.

According to Keim, Washington also has interest in former Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker—as do the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers.


Browns Bringing in Billings

The Cleveland Browns were early buyers during the legal tampering period, adding both tight end Austin Hooper and tackle Jack Conklin. Their offseason spending spree continued Thursday, with the team agreeing to terms with defensive tackle Andrew Billings.

The 2016 fourth-round pick out of Baylor has spent his entire NFL career with the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals. He started 14 games last season and amassed 45 tackles and a sack.


Cincinnati Adding Alexander

The Bengals, meanwhile, agreed to a one-year deal with former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander, according to Pelissero. Alexander played all four of his pro seasons with the NFC North team and appeared in 13 games last season.

The signing of Alexander is interesting, as Cincinnati added his former teammate and fellow cornerback Trae Waynes earlier in free agency.

The additions of Waynes and Alexander have led ESPN's Mike Clay to speculate that the Bengals could move on from cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the coming days. Kirkpatrick is scheduled to carry a cap hit of roughly $11 million this season. Cincinnati could save roughly $8 million of that by dumping him.


Dolphins Bringing Back Colbert

According to Rapoport, the Miami Dolphins are bringing back safety Adrian Colbert after not tendering him as a restricted free agent before the start of the new league year: 

Colbert, a fourth-year seventh-round pick out of Miami, played six games for the Dolphins last year. He finished with 22 tackles and two passes defended. He spent the first portion of 2019 with the Seattle Seahawks and the previous two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.


Cardinals Adding Campbell

The Arizona Cardinals gave their defense a big boost by agreeing to a contract with former Atlanta Falcons linebacker De'Vondre Campbell. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, it's a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million.

Campbell spent the four seasons as a starter for the Falcons. In 2019, he appeared in all 16 games (15 starts) and finished with 129 tackles, five passes defended, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.

His addition should help bolster a Cardinals defense that allowed a league-high 402 yards per game in 2019.


Broncos Release Flacco

The Denver Broncos are moving forward with second-year man Drew Lock as their starting quarterback. According to Schefter, they have released Joe Flacco with a failed physical designation:

It means that Lock will be able to play without looking over his shoulder. For the former Super Bowl MVP, it could mean that his time as an NFL starter is over. There aren't many No. 1 jobs left for the taking, though the 35-year-old could certainly land elsewhere as a veteran backup.

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