Eagles Reunite With Key Contributor to 2022 Super Bowl Run - Sport News

Eagles Reunite With Key Contributor to 2022 Super Bowl Run

The Philadelphia Eagles and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson agreed to terms on a three-year contract, after Gardner-Johnson spent one season with the Detroit Lions, and Philadelphia’s defense collapsed down the stretch in 2023.

News that the Eagles are reuniting with Gardner-Johnson was first reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Eagles

According to Pelissero, Gardner-Johnson’s pact is a three-year deal worth up to $33 million. It comes on the heels of the 26-year-old appearing in three games during the 2023 campaign after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in September.

Through his first five NFL seasons, Gardner-Johnson has produced 245 total tackles with four sacks and 12 interceptions.

Safety was a position of dire need for the Eagles, following a disastrous closing stretch of the 2023 season that saw Philadelphia lose five of the final six games amid coverage woes and poor tackling in the secondary.

After showing interest, according to multiple reports, in former New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (who plans to sign with the Green Bay Packers), the Eagles will have a familiar face in Gardner-Johnson on the back-end of the defense.

Why Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Left the Eagles the First Time
Gardner-Johnson was among the players who held the Eagles’ secondary together during Philadelphia’s 2022 run to the Super Bowl, and eventual loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

That season, Gardner-Johnson finished with a career-high 67 total tackles with one sack, five tackles for loss, and six interceptions.

Gardner-Johnson parlayed his strong 2022 campaign into a one-year deal with the Lions for $6.5 million, including a $4 million signing bonus. As Eagles general manager Howie Roseman pointed out, it was simply too lofty for Philadelphia to pay, at the time.

“I think when you go back to the start of free agency, we talked to his representatives about bringing him back here and also talked to them about the fact that we had limited resources,” Roseman told reporters during the NFL Annual Meeting. “It’s no secret that sometime relatively soon we want to extend our quarterback. Our whole kind of roster building is going to turn a little bit here from a quarterback on a rookie deal towards hopefully a quarterback on a long-term deal. Not that we have anything done or anything but that’s obviously our goal, is to keep Jalen (Hurts) here for a long time. And so you run out of resources.

“We were very clear that at some point we were going to have to go in a different direction. In those first couple days, we tried and then we pivoted. I think that’s one of the most important things in free agency. You can go in with a plan but you have to be able to pivot and have other options and not get stuck with nothing. I think at that point, that’s where we went. When we pivoted that was kind of where it went.”

Now, one season later, the two sides are back together.

Eagles Among NFL’s Most Active in Free Agency
Roseman and the Eagles have gotten off to a busy start during the NFL legal tampering period, agreeing to terms with several players with serious star power.

The Eagles plucked former New York Giants running back, and No. 2 overall draft pick, Saquon Barkley in the early hours of the legal tampering period on March 11. Additionally, Philadelphia plans to sign top pass-rusher, and former New York Jets standout, Bryce Huff. Zack Baun also arrives, further reinforcing new coordinator Vic Fangio‘s defense.

Likewise, Philadelphia adds quality veteran depth with the anticipated additions of wide receiver DeVante Parker and offensive lineman Matt Hennessy.

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