The Philadelphia Eagles added a new piece to their secondary after the team traded for New Orleans Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and confirmed by Gardner-Johnson's agent.
The Eagles will also get the Saints' 7th-round pick in 2025, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Saints will receive the Eagles' fifth-round pick in 2023 and the worse of their two sixth-round picks in 2024.
The Saints were reportedly trying to sign Gardner-Johnson to an extension but when talks stalled, New Orleans sent him to Philadelphia, per NFL Network. Gardner-Johnson steps in as the Eagles' starting safety after the team reportedly released veteran safety Anthony Harris almost immediately after the trade went through.
Gardner-Johnson is a young defensive back who saw a lot of time at nickel cornerback for the Saints but converted to safety full-time in 2021. He tallied 161 combined tackles, two sacks, 28 defended passes and five interceptions since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2019. Gardner-Johnson also started 24 of the Saints' past 27 games dating back to 2020.
But when New Orleans added veteran safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye in free agency this offseason, Gardner-Johnson's role in the Saints' defense took a hit and it looked like he'd return to his nickel position. Now he'll be a full-fledged starting safety with his eyes on a big payday in 2022.