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What Eagles analysts, fans are saying about Lions signing C.J. Gardner-Johnson

Eagles writers and fans offered some insight into the Detroit Lions’ newest defensive back via free agency: C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Philadelphia Eagles v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions made yet another secondary splash on Sunday night by agreeing to terms with defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Some believed Gardner-Johnson to be the best remaining free agent left on the market, and considering the Lions had already made two significant signings at the cornerback position, this addition caught some off guard.

One group of people that really seemed to be surprised were the folks over in Philadelphia. Though the Eagles had already turned their focus to re-signing guys like Darius Slay and James Bradberry, many were surprised by the relatively small contract Gardner-Johnson ended up signing—a reported one-year deal worth $8 million with $6.5 million guaranteed. Gardner-Johnson is just 25 years old and coming off a season where he led the NFL in interceptions. What the heck happened?

Let’s get some insight from Eagles insiders and capture their reaction on Sunday night and Monday morning following the Lions’ big move.

To begin with, here’s the lowdown on why the Lions may have been able to get Gardner-Johnson so cheap. Apparently, the Eagles originally offered him a multi-year deal early in free agency, but Gardner-Johnson believed he could find more on the open market.

Note: It’s worth noting that Gardner-Johnson quote tweeted this with the word “cap,” essentially calling into question the validity of this report. However, Gardner-Johnson has since deleted his tweet.

It’s unclear what kind of deal the Eagles gave Gardner-Johnson, but interestingly enough, his agency tweeted out something that may give us insight there.

Did Gardner-Johnson receive an insulting offer from the Eagles that was backloaded with money he’d likely never see, or is his agency trying to save face after betting on his client and losing? We’ll likely never know for sure.

Let’s move on to the player himself and how analysts and fans reacted to the news of the Lions adding him and the Eagles losing him.

Many have spoken about Gardner-Johnson’s fiery demeanor. He’s been known to get into spats on the field and become a bit of an agitator. He’s gotten punched on two different occasions, one by an opponent on the field, and another by teammate Michael Thomas during practice. That has led some to point out that maybe vague “risks” caused his value to drop, as pointed out in the Jeff McLane tweet above. However, it’s worth pointing out that Gardner-Johnson’s now former teammate—Eagles receiver AJ Brown—went out of his way to praise the defensive back’s character.

So did Darius Slay:

Fan reaction

As you have probably surmised in your football fandom career, Eagles fans are an emotional bunch. Some were upset with losing Gardner-Johnson. Some were okay with it. Almost everyone on Eagles' Twitter was mad, and plenty quickly turned on the guy. Here’s the gamut of emotions from Eagles fans:



[Editor’s note: So much coping.]

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