Howie Roseman's offseason trade for C.J. Gardner-Johnson paid off in a big way for this year's elite Eagles defense, and it sounds like the Birds' GM wants to double down on the safety's contributions.
With the Super Bowl looming, Roseman will soon have a number of decisions to make to try and keep his roster at the top of the NFL mountain.
On Super Bowl Sunday, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo reported that Roseman has his sights set on one player in particular:
"The one guy I do expect Roseman to make a big push to keep: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. When he plays on defense that defense has swag, and they talked about long-term goals when they acquired him."
This came after Garafolo explained the uncertainty surrounding veteran players Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, and running back Miles Sanders.
I'm not surprised Roseman wants to keep Gardner-Johnson around. While his situation in New Orleans seemed to deteriorate because he was unhappy, the unhappiness was largely contract-oriented. If the Eagles are wiling to pay the man the money he's undoubtedly earned this year, that won't be an issue. And otherwise, Gardner-Johnson has been a model Eagle this year. He brings an energy and a play-making ability to the defense, and at 25 years old he's just entering his prime.
It won't be cheap to keep Gardner-Johnson in midnight green. I don't think his money will ascend to the truly elite range at the safety position - guys like Jamal Adams, Derwin James, or Minkah Fitzpatrick - but I'd imagine he'll be just a cut below. Budda Baker signed a four-year, $59 million contract at age 24 in 2020 with Arizona that could be informative on a potential CJGJ deal.
My guess is that Gardner-Johnson returns next year on a big-money deal while Roseman moves on from some long-tenured Eagles to make room. But we will see!
First up: winning the dang Super Bowl.
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