Flirting with potentially needing to replace three standouts from last year’s secondary unit, the Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly making a hard charge to keep at least one of those players around long-term.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Eagles have not yet closed the door on re-signing soon-to-be free agent safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
“The Eagles have several key players they could bring back, and though it appears they are waiting for markets to develop before reacting, some around the league believe they’ve made a strong effort to re-sign safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson,” Fowler wrote.
Though there seemed to be mutual interest between the two sides regarding a new deal earlier this offseason, there has been open speculation that Gardner-Johnson would be out of the Eagles’ price range once he hits the open market on Wednesday afternoon. This latest development might indicate a change in the wind.
The Eagles are waiting for the start of Monday’s tampering period so that they can see, what, exactly teams might be willing to offer the standout safety. In essence, it will give both Gardner-Johnson and the defending NFC champs an opportunity to see where the starting line might be for a contract.
Acquired last August from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for two future draft picks, Gardner-Johnson immediately added a positive influence to the Eagles’ defense, tallying a league-high six interceptions with 67 tackles and a sack in 12 games for the 2022-23 campaign.
Retaining Gardner-Johnson, while still perhaps unlikely, would be huge get-back for the Eagles. Beyond his specific situation, the Eagles must also decide if they want to make hard pushes for cornerbacks James Bradberry and Darius Slay.
Like Gardner-Johnson, Bradberry is an impending free agent who looks likely to be ticketed for a new home once free agency opens. He told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson on Sunday that he’d “love” to stay with the Eagles and plans to give the team a chance to match any offer he receives on the open market.
Meanwhile, embroiled in a contract dispute, the Eagles permitted Slay to seek a trade earlier this week. He has voiced his desire to stay in Philadelphia, but there appears to be little chance of a reunion at this juncture.
Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman is known far and wide for his ability to maneuver the salary cap. If Roseman manages to keep all three of Gardner-Johnson, Bradberry and Slay, he should be considered a front-office superhero. Logically and realistically, the Eagles figure to have at least a couple of holes to fill in their defensive secondary over the coming months, be it through free agency, the draft or trade.
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Publish Date:2023-03-13 11:38:00