While the world was sleeping on Sunday night, Adam Schefter dropped some shocking news. The ESPN reporter announced that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would be taking his talents to Detroit on a one-year deal worth $8M. Eagles fans were Rightfully confused given how important his return was deemed to be.
How much is Chauncey Gardner-Johnson getting paid?
The $8M price tag with $6.5M guaranteed felt like it was comfortably within Howie Roseman’s wheelhouse. The fact that CJGJ decided to sign for the Lions was a little confusing at first, but his management team quickly cleared the air.
This does feel like a very Howie Roseman contract. Whether this is accurate or not, we don’t know, but it obviously comes with a very player-biased insight. Roseman has become somewhat renowned for adding dummy years (the fake years referenced) into contracts and we know that the Eagles aren’t exactly swimming in cap space. We also know that by the time these backloaded deals hit the big payday, the player typically restructures or moves on in order to secure that money.
Other factors that may have played into the move
It’s also worth noting that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson spent the first two years of his career working under current members of the Lions coaching staff, Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn. The Head Coach & Defensive coordinator tandem know the 25-year-old better than most, and that familiarity along with the inherent rise of the Lions may have also played a role.
There was also a report that surfaced that stated the Eagles did in fact make him a better offer at the start of free agency.
Jeff McLane later clarified that this was before the James Bradberry & Darius Slay moves. It’s likely that by the time CJGJ reached a conclusion, Howie’s back was against the wall with players leaving at a rapid rate. He had to choose between retaining two players, or waiting to try and keep one.
Eagles were right to let Chauncey Gardner-Johnson walk
If the Eagles were unwilling to give CJGJ over $6M in guaranteed money, or at least structure it in a way that he is comfortable with, then this makes sense. Ultimately, however, the Eagles want to build around players who want to be in the building. It’s why moves like the signing of Fletcher Cox, who took a pay cut, is so important. There’s no point in the Eagles coughing up serious money for a player who only cares about that element. If they can bring back a team captain in Darius Slay and a premier corner who cited how much he wanted to stay in Philly, then Howie Roseman absolutely did the right thing.
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