The Detroit Lions completed a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles on March 19 that sent cornerback Darius Slay to the NFC East. He will be changing both his jersey, as well as his number. Instead of wearing No. 23 with the Eagles, Slay will be switching to No. 24 in order to honor Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Slay revealed the upcoming jersey change during an Instagram Live on Saturday night. The late NBA icon attended Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion. He was also a noted Eagles fan and was often seen wearing stocking caps with the team's logo when he was sitting courtside at Lakers' games. Now Slay will be honoring his favorite NBA player by repping his jersey number every week.
Darius Slay will wear No. 24 for the Eagles in honor of Kobe Bryant, he announced on IG Live.March 22, 2020
"My number I'm rocking? I'm going with that two-four, man. I'm rockin' with two-four this year," Slay said on Saturday. "Kobe mode. Black mamba, baby. Rest in peace to the GOAT, man. Rest in peace to one of my favorite players. ... I think I'm gonna look good in 24."
Slay has a reputation among his fellow NFL players as a massive Bryant fan. This was reinforced following his announcement on Instagram Live. Several cornerbacks, including his former teammate Nevin Lawson – now with the Raiders – and former Houston Texans standout Charles James, weighed in to praise Slay's decision.
No. 24 was worn by running back Jordan Howard during the 2019 season after he was traded to the Eagles by the Chicago Bears. The veteran is now in Miami after signing a two-year deal worth $9.75 million, making his jersey available for Slay.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection with 19 interceptions to his name, Slay was reportedly unhappy in Detroit. The Eagles traded two draft picks to acquire his services as a No. 1 cornerback. The team also signed him to a three-year, $50 million contract extension, per ESPN. Slay is now the NFL's highest-paid cornerback, averaging $16.67 million annually.
Now armed with a new contract and a new number, Slay will be searching for even more success in Philadelphia. He will also be honoring Bryant every time that he puts his new jersey on over his shoulder pads.
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