NFL

Darius Slay to wear 24 after Eagles trade in tribute to 'GOAT' Kobe Bryant

By Sports Desk March 22, 2020

Darius Slay has revealed he will wear the number 24 jersey in a tribute to the NBA's "GOAT" Kobe Bryant after being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Star cornerback Slay joined the Eagles from the Detroit Lions this week in exchange for third and fifth-round draft picks before promptly signing a three-year contract extension worth around $50million.

Slay has worn 23 in his NFL career to date but plans to switch this year in a tribute to Philadelphia native Bryant, who was tragically killed along with eight other victims, including his daughter Gianna, in a helicopter crash in January.

Running back Jordan Howard wore 24 for the Eagles last season, but his move to the Miami Dolphins freed up one of the old numbers Bryant - a noted Eagles fan - wore with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"My number I'm rocking? I'm going with that 2-4, man," Slay told fans on Instagram Live.

"I'm gonna rock with 2-4 this year. I'm going Kobe mode, man. Black mamba, baby.

"Rest in peace to the GOAT, man, one of my favourite players. Gonna rock that 2-4 probably. I think I'm gonna look good in 24."

Elsewhere, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed the departure of quarterback Jameis Winston, who spent five seasons with them, for the first time.

A day after Winston, the former number one overall pick, said goodbye to the team after their addition of Tom Brady, the Bucs responded.

They posted a tweet on Sunday that included a "thank you, Jameis" graphic with a message that expressed their gratitude to him "from the bottom of our hearts". 

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    Ezekiel Elliott issued an apology following the Dallas Cowboys' heavy loss to the Arizona Cardinals, admitting after two costly fumbles: "I need to be better".

    The Cardinals improved to 4-2 as they thrashed the Cowboys 38-10 in Texas, running all over their opponents as they amassed 261 total rushing yards in the one-sided contest on Monday.

    Dallas were without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Week 5 win over the New York Giants. The defeat drops them to 2-4 for the season, though they still remain top of the NFC East.

    Running back Elliott insisted the result was not down to Prescott's absence, instead pointing to his pair of fumbles in the first half as key moments. Having lost possession on back-to-back drives, he accepted responsibility for the result.

    "I don't think we can use that [Dak's absence] as an excuse," Elliott told the media.

    "I'm just going to keep saying it over and over - I started the game out with two fumbles, gave the ball away and gave them all the momentum they need to go take off.

    "I want to say I'm sorry and this one is on me. I need to be better."

    Both turnovers led to touchdowns for Arizona and, after Kenyan Drake put the Cardinals 14-0 up, Tony Pollard - not Elliott - was on duty at running back for the Cowboys.

    Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy made clear that despite the change during the game, Elliott remains the team's lead back.

    "Every player who plays in this league, and it's no different on our football team, if you don't take care of the football it obviously affects your opportunities," McCarthy said in his post-game media conference.

    "Tony got an opportunity, I thought he did some really good things. At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow and we need to get it right. He's part of the plan and he's going to be part of our success.

    "We need to get it right and take care of the football, that's for everyone who touches the football on our team."

    Elliott finished the game with 49 rushing yards on 12 attempts, while Pollard had 31 yards on 10 carries.

    The Cowboys are on the road in Week 7, taking on divisional rivals Washington.

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