Eagles will use franchise tag on C.J. Gardner-Johnson if needed

Posted on February 21, 2023

After making it to Super Bowl LVII and coming up short, the Philadelphia Eagles are looking to run it back in 2023. And, they will do whatever it takes to maintain a strong roster.

First up, is solidifying a contract for safety C.J. Gardner Johnson.

Ending the season with the most interceptions (tied) in the league, it’s a no-brainer for Philadelphia to keep him — with or without a franchise tag.


Beginning his career in 2019, the New Orleans Saints drafted Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round. In three seasons, he recorded 161 tackles, three sacks, and five interceptions.

Acquired in a preseason trade along with a 2025 seventh-round pick, the Eagles exchanged a 2023 fifth-round draft selection and the lower of their two sixth-round picks in 2024 with the Saints. Gardner-Johnson made quick impression playing for the Eagles. Completing a career-high 67 tackles, he made six interceptions for 54 yards. And, he did it in 12 games. His interceptions tied for most in the league.

After returning from a lacerated kidney late in the season, Gardner-Johnson returned for all three post-season games. He completed 12 tackles and a pass break-up.

Now that his cheap one-year deal is over, the safety will soon be a free agent. But, Philadelphia isn’t letting him go that easily. The Birds now intend to work out a multi-year extension, including a yearly salary that will almost triple his current career earnings. If no deal is completed, CJGJ will be franchise tagged, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The tag will guarantee him approximately $14.4 million next season.

The investment is quite high, but after the Eagles’ defense failed to show up when the team needed them most, the money may be worth it.

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Alicia Andaloro

Alicia was born and raised in Philadelphia, becoming an avid Eagles fan as a child. She graduated from Penn State University and now works in the medical field. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and baking.

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