Here’s what Banner had to say:
On Darius Slay
“Slay to me is a no-brainer. You may think he’s a very good player, or an elite player, but he’s in that range no matter who you talk to, and frankly the corner market has been depressed, and they were actually able to get him based on kind of old numbers and 16 games. So, I think the value of the trade is very strong, and I think the contract is excellent. For me, that’s all you can ask for. That’s a really good move.”
Banner went on to say that giving up a 3rd and 5th round pick wasn’t that risky. With a 3rd round pick, he says that there’s a 20-25% chance of producing a starter, so giving that up and getting a proven, high-quality starter, that’s great value.
He further explained that in this market, signing a top corner for under $17 million is “exceptional value” — and Banner noted that he’s surprised Slay and his agent were comfortable with that deal, even if he was eager to get out of Detroit.
On Malcolm Jenkins
Banner had earlier this offseason said that letting Jenkins go would be a mistake, and he doubled down on that — especially given the contract he ended up signing with the Saints.
“My blood pressure goes up when we talk about the Eagles losing a long-term safety that everybody loved. So, that aside...
The difference for Malcolm, I’m sure, was the fact that by signing a new contract he gets 16 million dollars in guaranteed money, so he knows he’s getting that at least over the few years.”
He agreed that the average annual salary was reasonable, but noted that Howie Roseman has publicly articulated that he is actively working to get the roster younger. However, Banner admitted that with Jenkins’ leadership and continuity at the position should have had some more value — especially with the reasonable extension he ended up signing.
Banner said that he doesn’t have all the information that the Eagles’ front office does, particularly with regards to their future cap space planning, but if it were him, he would’ve tried to keep Jenkins.
Reese asked how long you put into a young guy that you drafted — someone like Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Andre Dillard — before deciding to move on. Banner said that it’s not only unique to the player, but also to the draft pick used on them. He noted that if you see a guy who is smart and determined, they might get the benefit of the doubt, over a guy who might not had a great work ethic or effort.
Banner was also asked what he’d do with Alshon Jeffery.
“I think they’re at a point, with a couple of relatively modest risks, they have a real chance of winning the Super Bowl again.”
He explained that it’s not just about his contract, but his availability. So, if they stick with Jeffery and are counting on him, and he’s not available, then who can step in that’s still a guy who can take them to the Super Bowl. And, that’s something they might want to address in March rather than when it’s too late.