The best free agent of the 2023 NFL class is officially off the market.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Detroit Lions have signed versatile former New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson to a one-year contract. Schefter added that the deal can be worth up to $8 million.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero added that Gardner-Johnson will receive $6.5 million in guarantees.
In a surprise move, the Saints traded the fan favorite to the Eagles last August (along with a 2025 seventh-round draft choice) in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2024 and a sixth-round selection in the same year.
Gardner-Johnson missed five games in 2022 but still tuned in the most productive season of his career, racking up six interceptions, eight pass defenses, one sack and 67 combined tackles. His efforts helped the Eagles to the NFC’s top seed and a trip to Super Bowl 57, where they narrowly fell to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Lions exceeded expectations in 2022 by finishing 9-8, recording their first winning season since 2017. The club ended the year on a high note by defeating Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, spoiling the Cheeseheads’ playoff hopes.
Detroit also owns the No. 6 (via the Los Angeles Rams in the 2021 Matthew Stafford trade) and No. 18 picks in next month’s draft. Needless to say, this team is in prime position to make a run at the postseason in 2023.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.