Source: Lions agree to deal with Gardner-Johnson

NFL

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Free-agent safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and the Detroit Lions reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $8 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday night.

Gardner-Johnson, 25, was acquired by the Philadelphia Eagles from the New Orleans Saints in late August along with the Saints’ 2025 seventh-round draft pick for a 2023 fifth-round pick and the latter of Philly’s two sixth-round picks in 2024.

He was asked to make a position switch from cornerback to safety upon his arrival in Philadelphia and effectively did so. He finished the regular season tied for the most interceptions in the NFL (6) despite missing five games with a lacerated kidney. He became the only Eagle since the 1970 merger to record interceptions in five consecutive games.

Gardner-Johnson, who has the coverage traits and ball skills to fit in multiple defensive schemes, was part of a secondary that allowed the fewest passing yards on average during the regular season (180 yards per game).

He was the top defensive free agent remaining, according to ESPN’s rankings.

A fourth-round pick by the Saints in 2019, he has 11 interceptions, 36 passes defended and 20 tackles for loss over four seasons.

ESPN’s Tim McManus and Matt Bowen contributed to this report.

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