Eagles fans held out hope all along that CJ Gardner Johnson could still return to Philly. Even after Howie resigned James Bradberry, and gave Darius Slay an extension. But it turns out the CJ Gardner-Johnson era in Philly lasts just one season. Because he is signing with the Detroit Lions. The surprising part is what he got paid. We knew the Safety market was grim. But CJ Gardner Johnson got just a one-year deal worth up to $8 million. Far less than anyone expected.
[Source: Adam Schefter]
Lions are giving him a one-year deal worth up to $8 million, per source. https://t.co/tkAOtdJOV3— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2023
The question for Eagles fans will be, why didn’t the Eagles match that? We may not get an answer any time soon though. Well with CJ being CJ, he may just tweet out an answer at any moment. Perhaps he felt slighted by the Eagles. Or maybe Howie just did not want to spend any money on Safety. Whatever it is, CJ Gardner-Johnson is gone. Leaving the Eagles with more question marks than answers at the position. They had already lost their other starting Safety Marcus Epps to the Las Vegas Raiders. And now CJ departs as well.
Reed Blankenship is the obvious choice to fill one of the spots. The Eagles reportedly think very highly of the former undrafted rookie. And he filled in well considering when Gardner-Johnson was out. But is he good enough to trust as your best Safety? The Eagles may have to find out. And their options at the second Safety spot are even thinner. It is doubtful Howie Roseman is finished. They have some draft capital. And if this is what CJ Gardner-Johnson is getting paid, there will be other cheap dependable options out there.
Even still, Safety will have question marks going into the season. Granted there were question marks going into this past season as well. Marcus Epps was unproven, and they didn’t land CJ Gardner Johnson for a 5gth and 6th round pick until late in pre-season. We will have to see if Howie has any similar moves up his sleeve this off-season.