The Philadelphia Eagles' fall from grace in 2023 was tough to watch. After falling short in Super Bowl 57 against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles came out of the gates hot in 2023. They began the season 10-1 with impressive wins over playoff contenders like the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

But it all unraveled in a hurry. Philadelphia ended the season 1-5 and got dispatched effortlessly by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round. At least the Eagles have the NFL Draft and free agency at their disposal to make upgrades on their roster. Players like Frankie Luvu and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson could help Philadelphia turn things around.

Those players in particular should be targets for the Eagles because their defense is what really betrayed them at the end of the 2023 season. They allowed at least 27 points in five of their last six games, including allowing 35 and 27 points in games against the 4-13 Arizona Cardinals and 6-11 New York Giants.

Philadelphia ranked 29th in EPA allowed per play defensively in 2023, a far cry from the 2022 season where they finished fourth in that same metric. They have to look to fix that side of the ball in the offseason. Frankie Luvu and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson can help with that.

Frankie Luvu, Linebacker

It feels like the Philadelphia Eagles haven't had a reliable linebacker since Jeremiah Trotter was patrolling the middle of the field for them. Frankie Luvu would be a great solution for the Eagles at that position. Luvu is a tackling machine. He posted 125 total tackles, which ranked 22nd in the NFL in 2023. But he wasn't just a tackle stacker; Luvu did a bit of everything for the Panthers. He added 5.5 sacks to his ledger last season after posting seven sacks in 2022; only Brian Burns posted more sacks in either season for Carolina. PFF graded Luvu very favorably this past season too.

The Eagles really have to find some production at linebacker. The Eagles drafted Nakobe Dean to be the answer at that position, but injuries haven't allowed Dean to live up to his potential yet. They signed Zach Cunningham to help Dean as a veteran presence to play alongside, but he became a frequent target for opposing offenses in the passing game. The Eagles have to do more at that position. Luvu would be a great target for them to pursue.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Safety

Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu (49) looks over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have to do more at the safety position too. Reed Blankenship was fine for most of the season in 2023, but his production tailed off at the end. Kevin Byard was not the difference-making addition the Eagles thought he'd be when they acquired him midseason from the Tennessee Titans. To help out that secondary that got torched at the end of the season seemingly every week, why not bring back a familiar face?

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson did great things for the Eagles in his lone season in Philadelphia. The Eagles largely deployed him as a slot corner rather than a safety, a testament to his versatility as a player. He delivered in that role; Gardner-Johnson's six interceptions in 2022 account for half of the interceptions he's piled up in his four-year career.

Gardner-Johnson left Philadelphia for the Detroit Lions in 2023. Injuries, however, allowed him to play only three games for the Lions last season. Rookie Brian Branch was able to shine as a safety and slot corner hybrid as well in Gardner-Johnson's absence, which could at least open the door for him to find a new home. If that happens, the Eagles should find a way to bring him back. Their secondary is aging and their primary slot corner, Avonte Maddox, has been injured frequently the past two seasons. Maddox has only played 14 games since the start of the 2022 season. Without him and Gardner-Johnson for most of 2023, the Eagles were ripped to shreds in the middle of the field.

There's a role for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to play for the Eagles in 2024 if he wants to come back. He could want a reunion. The Eagles need a reunion. Maybe they can make it happen.