The Eagles and Slay could not work out a restructured contract, and Slay will be a free agent at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the sources said. The Eagles also had allowed Slay’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to seek a trade before deciding to release him.
Slay, 32, was entering the final year of his three-year, $50 million deal. He was slated to make a base salary of $17 million in 2023 with a cap hit of more than $26 million, per Spotrac.
Slay’s release is being designated as a post-June 1 release, a league source told ESPN’s Tim McManus, allowing the Eagles to spread the dead cap money over the next two years.
Slay appeared to confirm the news, tweeting: “Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next..”
The Eagles acquired Slay from the Detroit Lions in 2020 in exchange for a third- and a fifth-round pick. He has made the Pro Bowl each of the past two years and had three interceptions and 14 passes defensed this past season.
He was a key part of a defense that led the league in pass defense (179.8 yards per game), helping Philadelphia to a 14-3 regular-season mark en route to an appearance in Super Bowl LVII.
The Eagles will have a completely new look on defense in 2023. Starters Javon Hargrave (San Francisco 49ers), T.J. Edwards (Chicago Bears) and Marcus Epps (Las Vegas Raiders) have agreed to sign elsewhere as free agents, and they still have a number of contributors who are free agents, including defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
The Eagles did agree to re-sign starting cornerback James Bradberry and defensive end Brandon Graham, however.