C.J. Gardner-Johnson will leave the Eagles.

A report from NFL insider Tom Pelissero says that Johnson is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Detroit Lions.

Most Birds fans wanted CJGJ to stay in Philadelphia, so this news is a bummer for them. Recent reports said that the Eagles were trying "very hard" to get him back.

But could it have been that big of a deal if he just left to sign a one-year deal that makes him the NFL's 20th highest-paid safety in terms of annual value?

It seems like CJGJ thought NFL free agency would make him a lot more money than it did. And it wasn't a completely crazy idea, given that he was 25 years old, versatile

But his market wasn't very strong if it took him almost a week after legal tampering started to make a deal.

Teams might have had questions about who he was. Maybe they thought that his high number of interceptions was due to luck as well as skill. 

Last season, Pro Football Focus ranked him 51st out of 93 safeties. This could have turned them off.

CJGJ is gone, even though he had a good year for the Eagles last year. He probably would have made the Pro Bowl if he hadn't hurt himself and been ruled ineligible to get votes for a while.


This means that the Eagles will need to find two new starting safeties for the 2023 season. The Birds lost Marcus Epps to the Raiders early last week.

K'Von Wallace, Andre Chachere, and Reed Blankenship are the Eagles' sole safeties. Blankenship has starting potential and might play a huge role. 

Wallace is probably best as a backup player at best. Chachere is a journeyman who is on the edge of the team.

So, the Eagles will have to get better players for the back end. Jalen Mills, an old friend who was just let go by the New England Patriots, seems like a good choice.

Sean Desai and Adrian Amos worked together on the Chicago Bears. Desai is now in charge of the Eagles' defense. John Johnson was cut by the Cleveland Browns after June 1.