Ex-Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson signs 1-year, $8M deal with Lions


C.J. Gardner-Johnson has reportedly signed a one-year deal worth $8 million ($6.5 million guaranteed) with the Detroit Lions.

Gardner-Johnson, 25, was acquired by Howie Roseman from the New Orleans Saints right before the start of last season. The defensive back did not disappoint, recording a career-high six interceptions in 12 games. However, the Eagles surprisingly decided to let CJGJ walk even for that cheap price tag.

The Eagles have been busy during the free-agency period, re-signing cornerback James Bradberry, extended cornerback Darius Slay and bringing veterans RB Boston Scott, DE Brandon Graham, C Jason Kelce, and DT Fletcher Cox back on one-year deals. Contrarily, the Eagles lost some key players like DT Javon Hargrave, LB TJ Edwards, S Marcus Epps, LB Kyzir White, OT Andre Dillard and the aforementioned Slay.

Gardner-Johnson spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Saints being selected in the 4th round of the 2019 draft. The firebrand safety manned the slot corner position effectively and was a thorn in the side of his NFC South opponents, but the partnership soured throughout training camp prior to the 2022 season, with Gardner-Johnson seeking a long-term deal.

The 25-year-old withheld his activity from workouts at one point and was ultimately dealt to the Eagles prior to the regular season in exchange for a 2023 5th-round pick, and a 2024 6th rounder.

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