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Eagles News: C.J. Gardner-Johnson drawing interest from the Broncos

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/16/23.

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Report: Broncos are among the teams interested in safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson - Mile High Report
Gardner-Johnson is a 5’11’, 210-pound safety who is entering his 5th year in the NFL and is only 25 years old. This past season, he was a key member of the Philadelphia Eagles defense that made it to the Super Bowl. However, he did start his career in New Orleans as a second pick by Sean Payton, who is now the head coach in Denver with the Broncos. We have seen how having that connection has led to many coaches and now players reuniting with him in Denver. Back in late August, when the Saints traded Gardner-Johnson, Sean Payton was rather critical of the trade. He said that the trade was a “steal” and that he has no idea why the Saints traded him to Philadelphia. Gardner-Johnson is a playmaking safety who also can play multiple positions including the slot. The Broncos currently have a vacancy in their secondary with Kareem Jackson being a free agent, so there is room for Gardner-Johnson in the Broncos secondary.

Surprise! Darius Slay is staying with the Eagles! - BGN
After numerous media reports Wednesday, as well as confirmation from the player himself, indicated he would not be returning to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023, cornerback Darius Slay announced on Twitter late Wednesday that rumors of his departure were greatly exaggerated.

2023 BGN Draft #5: Breaking down the top 10 Defensive Backs in this draft class - BGN Radio
Shane Haff, Mark Henry Jr. and Chris Deibler share their likes and dislikes for each of their top 10 cornerbacks in this draft class.

Going and Staying - Iggles Blitz
Mixed feelings on this. Cox is still an effective starter. He has good moments, but isn’t a consistently high-level player anymore. He’s making $4M less than last year so it isn’t like the Eagles threw huge money at him. Sheldon Rankins got $10.5M for one year and he was half as productive as Cox. I would rather have gone for a younger DT, but I think the Eagles wanted Cox back for a reason. Javon Hargrave is gone. The projected DL starters were going to be Jordan Davis, Milton Williams and Marlon Tuipulotu. That’s a lot of youth. And the Eagles might be drafting another one or two DL. Cox returns and offers solid play along with leadership. You don’t last in the league for 12 years unless you know what you’re doing. Jimmy Bama doesn’t like the move. He says Cox is being overpaid.

Jason Kelce: ‘Philadelphia has been a blessing for me’ -
Kelce announced earlier in the week on Twitter that he was coming back and the news was received as you would expect – with total jubilation by the fans and the media. That’s par for the course for one of the franchise’s best-ever players on and off the field. He has made a huge difference for so many, so to get the love back from them was something Kelce truly appreciated. “Philadelphia has been a blessing for me to come here. I think I fit in really well,” he said, “not just with the organization and the team, but also with the fan base. I’m very grateful to have been able to play here and insert myself and my family into Philadelphia and fully call myself a Philadelphian here. It’s an honor.”

Ranking the NFL’s Best Remaining Free Agents - The Ringer
2. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Philadelphia Eagles (25). Gardner-Johnson transitioned from slot corner to safety in 2022 and finished the season with six interceptions. The floor for Gardner-Johnson is being a solid starter, and given how young he is, it’s reasonable to think that his best days are ahead of him. Jessie Bates III reportedly got a four-year, $64.02 million deal from the Falcons. If a similar deal were available to Gardner-Johnson, he likely would have snagged it by now. Instead, he could be looking at something in the $12 million to $14 million per year range.

Free Agency: The Panthers have signed RB Miles Sanders - Cat Scratch Reader
Sanders makes a ton of sense as the replacement for D’Onta Foreman, as the Panthers current offensive makeup is going to be power run heavy and he thrived with the Eagles behind their stellar offensive line. The Panther retained every starter from their 2022 line to end the season, and that group excelled when the team went heavy in the power rushing game. There still could be another move to be made, as the back ups are Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear.

Cowboys release Ezekiel Elliott, end of an era in Dallas football - Blogging The Boys
The move comes as a result of an out that was inserted into Elliott’s massive contract extension he signed prior to the 2019 season. While it made Elliott the highest paid running back in the NFL at the time, it also gave Dallas the option to get out from his contract this offseason. With the decision to designate Elliott as a post-June 1st cut, the Cowboys save a total of $10.9 million. Elliott became a star right away for the Cowboys by leading the league in rushing for two of his first three seasons, and averaging 4.6 yards per carry over his first four years. But Elliott’s play began to decline as his workload increased. He had a career high six fumbles in 2020 before setting a career low in yards per game in 2021, breaking that figure this past year.

The Best (and Worst) Moves of NFL Pre-Free Agency - Football Outsiders
Best moves: 1. Dallas Cowboys Trade for Cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore’s charting metrics for the 2022 Colts were strong if unspectacular: a 54.9% completion rate allowed (32nd among cornerbacks with 50-plus targets), 6.8 yards per target (29th), 0.9 yards per coverage snaps (tied with many for 21st). He appears to have arrived at a second late-career plateau just a notch below his All-Pro peak, and that’s all the need from a corner-for-hire who will line up across from Trevon Diggs for a defense fueled by a Micah Parsons-led pass rush. Gilmore provides answers for dealing with the Eagles offense and cuts off any potential avenues of victory for just about every other NFC opponent. And he comes for the low price of a fifth-round pick and the sort of cap space a playoff team should spend on a veteran leverage-position starter. Cowboys optimism? That cannot last. Let’s move on to the Ten Worst Moves of Free Agency (So Far).

Washington Free Agency: Jacoby Brissett is the Commanders newest QB - Hogs Haven
Brissett was expected to get heavy interest in free agency, and it was reported the Philadelphia Eagles were looking to replace Gardner Minshew with him. The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal with $8 million guaranteed, and it could be worth up to $10 million. This is more than many people expected Washington to pay for a backup with starter potential, and is more than Heinicke received from the Falcons($7m/year). Head Coach Ron Rivera said it was Howell’s job to win, but they would also bring in competition.

Kenny Golladay officially released by New York Giants - Big Blue View
GM Joe Schoen had recently indicated he would prefer to just get Golladay completely off the books in 2023, and that is what the Giants have done. Golladay played in 26 games with 18 starts in his two seasons with the Giants. He caught 43 passes for 602 yards and one touchdown – a 25-yarder score from backup quarterback Davis Webb on his final Giants catch in Philadelphia on Jan. 8.

NFL free agency 2023: Patriots sign wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to reported 3-year, $25.5 million contract - Pats Pulpit
He left Pittsburgh last year to join the Kansas City Chiefs and ended up being instrumental in helping the team win a Super Bowl. All in all, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound wideout appearing in 19 regular season and playoff games for his new club and caught a combined 88 passes for 1,022 yards and three touchdowns. [BLG Note: The Eagles will go up against the trash-talking JuJu at Gillette Stadium this coming season.]

2023 NFL Draft: Jalen Carter struggles during Georgia pro day workout -
Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter might not have had the pro-day performance he was seeking to solidify his stock as one of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. Carter weighed in at 323 pounds on Wednesday, nine pounds heavier than his weight at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago in Indianapolis, a source told Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy.

Aaron Rodgers says he wants to play for the Jets in eventful Pat McAfee Show appearance - SB Nation
Aaron Rodgers intends on playing for the New York Jets next year. Let’s cut straight to the chase. After 30 minutes of talking in circles, Aaron Rodgers decided that he intends to play football next year for the New York Jets. On the Pat McAfee show, Rodgers said that the only thing that’s holding up the trade is the compensation and discussion between the two front offices. Rodgers said that he’s being very hands off in the process. One of the reasons Rodgers said the Jets were enticing was because of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Which is the exact same thing that the Broncos tried to do by making Hackett their head coach last year. They did not get Rodgers, but ended up trading for QB Russell Wilson, and we all know how that story ends. Hackett was the offensive coordinator for the Packers with Rodgers, and Rodgers spoke glowingly of his former coordinator.


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