Today the Eagles needed to get their roster down to 53 men. One of those moves was waiving safety Anthony Harris, which at the time seemed interesting, but fear not, Howie had a plan. In a day of roster moves and cuts, Roseman once again stole the show. Not with who he kept on the roster but with who he added in the trade market.
Heading into the season, the Eagles biggest positional flaw was safety. This morning that changed when the Eagles traded for Saints safety Chauncey “CJ” Gardner-Johnson. Gardner-Johnson was a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft. He played 43 games for the Saints across the safety and nickel positions. In those games, Gardner-Johnson posted 161 tackles, 28 passes defended, five interceptions, and three sacks.
Over the past few seasons, Howie has shown his savviness in the trade market. Roseman has developed a strength of finding value wherever it is. In this case, he found a player who had failed to extend his contract heading into the last year of his deal. Targeting a player in the last year of his deal allowed the Eagles to get him for a lower price and also gave them future flexibility. Finding value in your players is something Howie also did this off-season. This includes trading Arcega-Whiteside to Seattle, which aided the Eagles in acquiring Gardner-Johnson.
Howie Roseman traded JJAW for Ugo Amadi— Eagles Nation (@PHLEaglesNation) August 30, 2022
-Traded Ugo & 7th to Titans for a 2024 6th
-Traded that 6th and a 5th for Chauncey Gardner Johnson
Seahawks just released JJAW
He’s still got it? pic.twitter.com/5w3156shey
Upgrading the Secondary
Philadelphia now has a complete secondary. Although there are still some experience concerns, this trade solidifies the safety position for the Eagles. Gardner-Johnson will add youth and attitude to the secondary. Even though he has split time between corner and safety in the NFL, he is a good enough athlete to transition to safety. Further, the NFL is trending toward the NBA with positionless players. More “hybrid” players are in the league every year, and this trend will likely continue.
This addition is also an excellent fit for the city of Philadelphia. Gardner-Johnson plays with an attitude and an edge. He caused Bears receiver Javon Wims to swing haymakers at him without reacting at all. He also had no problem getting right in the face of Tom Brady, probably reminding him about the dropped pass in the Super Bowl. It seems Sirianni feels the same way. In today’s press conference, he described the player as “dangerous” and went on to say, “you probably don’t like playing against him, but you are glad he’s on your team.” Let me tell you, Eagles fans, you should be glad he’s on our team.
Again this trade is fantastic work by Howie Roseman, who has given Gannon all the tools this off-season. Most importantly, this trade is an upgrade in talent for the safety position. It should be exciting to watch the Eagles defense this year, and I can’t wait to see CJ Gardner-Johnson flying around in Midnight Green
Photo Credit: Jason Behnke/AP Photo