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Darius Slay inks 4-year, $48M Lions contract extension

Darius Slay wanted to get paid like a top-seven cornerback. He got paid Friday.

The Detroit Lions announced Slay's contract extension on Friday. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Slay signed a four-year deal with the Lions worth $48 million, with $23.1 million guaranteed, according to a source who has seen the contract. Slay was entering the final year of his rookie contract. He'll make $50.2 million over the course of five years.

Pro Football Talk first reported the news.

The total guaranteed currently ranks Slay seventh among corners.

While the national press has mostly ignored Slay's growth, the 6-foot cornerback has blossomed into one of the best in the NFL and developed into a legitimate shutdown corner in 2015. Pro Football Focus rated Slay its No. 2 overall at his position last season, eighth in pass coverage.

Over the past two seasons, the 25-year-old corner earned 30 passes defensed to go along with four interceptions. Last season, Slay allowed a passer rating of 90.1 when targeted in coverage with a completion percentage of 63.2. He was targeted 68 times, per NFL Media research.

Slay will lead a youthful Lions cornerback group that enters training camp with 2014 fourth-round pick Nevin Lawson slated to start opposite. Slay has shown the ability to travel with opposing No. 1 receivers and could be asked to do much more shadowing in 2016.

After the Lions lost two game-changing talents the past two years on both sides of the ball (Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson), locking down Slay was a priority for new general manager Bob Quinn. Friday's payday ensures he'll wear Honolulu Blue for the foreseeable future.

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