Reunion in the Works? Latest Report Ties Eagles to Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in Free Agency

The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to retool their secondary this offseason. Could a reunion with a fan favorite from 2022 be in the cards?

The Philadelphia Eagles had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season. It’s a group that will be heavily addressed in both free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft.

Whether it’s the cornerback room full of players looking for answers, or a safety group that is currently barren of talent outside undrafted free agent Reed Blankenship and third-round pick Sydney Brown, this area will be heavily retooled over the next month and a half.

To one NFL reporter, a free agent reunion with a former Eagle may be in the works for the organization in the coming weeks.

Eagles To Have Interest in Bringing Back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

During the 2022 season, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson became a lightning rod of swagger to an Eagles defense that ranked as a top-three unit in the NFL against the pass and overall. The former Saint led the league in interceptions with six in 2022.

It came as a surprise to many that, not only did Philadelphia let the safety walk in free agency, but he only received a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Now, after a disappointing finish with Detroit in which Gardner-Johnson played in just three games while being one of the worst tackling safeties in the game, Philadelphia might be interested in a reunion for the former fourth-round pick.

ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler stated Sunday morning that a reunion with Philadelphia and “CJGJ” was something he “had his eyes on.” Gardner-Johnson started just three games with the Lions in 2023 and suffered a non-contact leg injury during camp that kept him off the field for the majority of the year.

Fowler also tied Gardner-Johnson’s free agency interest with the Tennessee Titans due to new defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson having prior experience with him.

Wilson was the Eagles’ defensive backs coach during Gardner-Johnson’s breakout season and was a popular pick to replace former DC Jonathan Gannon when the latter left for the head coaching job in Arizona. Instead, Philadelphia decided on Sean Desai to call the defense in 2023 and allowed CJGJ to walk in free agency.

It’s safe to say the organization regrets letting both walk last offseason.

After having a top-10 unit in 2022, the Eagles’ defense was second-worst against the pass in 2023 while relieving Desai of his play-calling duties to Matt Patricia late in the season.

Poor play from the secondary played a big role in Philadelphia also going from leading the league in sacks in 2022 (franchise record 70) to ranking just 26th in the league the following year.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Free Agents by Position

The poor numbers led to the hiring of longtime defensive mastermind Vic Fangio in the hopes of transforming Philadelphia’s defense into a feared unit again.

Bringing back a player who played a role in that for the 2022 Super Bowl team could be an easy move to make for the Eagles and their front office.

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