The Detroit Lions are signing former Philadelphia Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to a one-year deal worth $8 million, ESPN reports.
Gardner-Johnson, 25, who was Pete Prisco's No. 18 ranked free agent, was a part of a trade from New Orleans in August. The Eagles sent a fifth-round pick to the Saints in exchange for the safety and a seventh-round pick. In his lone season with the Super Bowl runner-ups, he led the league with six interceptions, and also had 67 tackles, one sack and eight pass deflections.
It has been both a talent and a brain drain in Philadelphia this offseason. The franchise has lost defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, offensive tackle Andre Dillard, linebacker T.J. Edwards, safety Marcus Epps, offensive guard Isaac Seumalo, Gardner-Johnson and others from the roster. They also lost both coordinators: Shane Steichen (now the Colts head coach) and Jonathan Gannon (the new Cardinals head coach). The Eagles had already allocated significant resources to its secondary through the retention of cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry.
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General manager Howie Roseman has the Nos. 10 and 30 overall selections in the 2023 NFL Draft to address the franchise's needs, which now include safety.
Gardner-Johnson joins a makeshift Lions secondary that has also added cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Cam Sutton this offseason. Rookie safety Kerby Joseph played well this season and veteran safety Tracy Walker also returns. Lions head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn were assistants on the Saints staff when the team drafted the safety out of Florida.