It looked like it was all systems go for the New Orleans Saints for a while.
All that was left to do was finalize their roster to 53 men, who are their best athletes for the 2022 season.
However, they pulled off a surprise by trading one of their starters to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Shocker: The #Saints are trading DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to the #Eagles, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. After extension talks broke down, the focus shifted from keeping Gardner-Johnson to trading him. Philly lands a starter. pic.twitter.com/k6bxvziA84
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2022
NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport tweeted, “Shocker: The #Saints are trading DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to the #Eagles, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. After extension talks broke down, the focus shifted from keeping Gardner-Johnson to trading him. Philly lands a starter.”
Without the trade, Gardner-Johnson would have been playing the final year of his four-year, $3.3 million rookie contract with the Saints.
Now, it’s Philadelphia’s turn to sign him to an extension.
After entering the 2021 season as their starting safety, he is already worth a hefty deal.
The Saints signed Mathieu to a three-year, $33 million extension this offseason.
The Gardner-Johnson trade is also the second significant transaction between the Saints and the Eagles during the offseason.
Before the 2022 NFL Draft, the Saints traded their first, third, and seventh-round pick in 2022, as well as their 2023 first-rounder and 2024 second-rounder.
In return, the Eagles gave their 16th and 19th overall selections in 2022, to go with their sixth-round pick.
Stacked Eagles Secondary
Gardner-Johnson will be a difference maker in the Eagles’ pass defense.
But he is not the only one they can depend on because Philadelphia also brought in Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry.
The Eagles will have a chance to showcase their defense when they open the season against the Detroit Lions on September 11.