In a shocking turn of events, the New Orleans Saints are trading safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to the Philadelphia Eagles, per Ian Rapoport. Adam Schefter reported that the Eagles will also receive the Saints’ 7th round pick in 2025. Meanwhile, the Saints are receiving the Eagles 5th round pick in 2023 and and the worse of their two 6th round picks for the 2024 draft. New Orleans originally wanted to extend Gardner-Johnson. However, the two sides’ inability to agree on a deal ultimately led to a trade.
Rapoport reported that the Saints began looking to trade Chauncey Gardner-Johnson once extension talks broke down. The Saints had high aspirations for their defense in 2022. They still certainly believe in their defensive unit, but the loss of Gardner-Johnson will not help matters. The 24-year old features talent and plenty of potential.
In just 12 games last year, he recorded a career high 3 interceptions. He has the ability to read quarterbacks well and make plays as a result. In three years with the Saints, he tallied 28 passes defended and 157 total tackles.
Gardner-Johnson provided a scouting report of himself last season while he was still a member of the Saints.
“I’m not the biggest, I’m not the smallest, I’m not the fastest but I know the things I can do is un-coachable sometimes….I go out there, have fun, play football like I’m a kid again sometimes.”
According to Tom Pelissero, Gardner-Johnson is expected become a full-time safety with the Eagles. He often played in the nickel position for the Saints.
The trade comes as a major blow for Saints fans. For the Eagles, they are acquiring one of the best defensive backs in the league. And as aforementioned, he is only 24-years old. So this is a young player who is still developing. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson could emerge as a star sooner rather than later.