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CB Slay lost 'respect' for Patricia after pair of slights

Darius Slay's future lies ahead with the Eagles, but left behind him are some hard feelings for Lions coach Matt Patricia.

Slay, traded to the Eagles on Thursday, was unhappy with a pair of incidents early in Patricia's Lions tenure in which he believes the coach slighted him and the Pro Bowl cornerback said that, "Right there, after that, that's when all my respect went out the door for him. As a man."

The first incident came when Slay said he was in a one-on-one meeting with Patricia following a workout with Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib and Xavier Rhodes. It came following Slay's All-Pro 2017 season and he said Patricia told him he wasn't "elite."

"I'm like, 'Huh?' I said, 'Huh.' I'm trying to see where he's coming at," Slay told ESPN. "He said I wasn't an elite corner and that I'm not in their category. I was coming off an All-Pro year, eight picks. That told me right there that he didn't have no respect for me. He told me I was a good player but then to tell me what I'm not, so I said, OK, I just took that to the chin and said, 'OK, that's cool.'

"Then I bounced back to two back-to-back Pro Bowlers on him. Let him know how elite I was."

The second incident came to be during a team meeting, Slay said, after a training camp practice in which a player -- who Slay did not identify -- had success catching passes against him. Following the practice, Slay posted a social media picture in regards to him and said receiver. At the meeting, Patricia called attention to the photo and, per Slay, Patricia basically told him to quit kissing up to another player using a profane analogy.

Patricia gave a statement to ESPN in which he offered his reaction.

"Over the last two seasons, Darius and I have had multiple conversations in private that I believed were constructive and satisfactory," Patricia said. "My discussions with athletes are confidential and I won't comment on anything discussed with our players in a team meeting. I appreciate his hard work and wish he and his family all the success in Philadelphia."

Slay admitted that his relationship with Patricia last season was "way better," but still he was in need of "a fresh new start."

Before that start in Philly, Slay knew he had to speak out on the past, however.

"I already knew that if I was ever to leave here that's a story I need to tell," Slay said, "because they going to understand why Slay had a big attitude."

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