Eagles-Saints trade grades: Philly adds Chauncey Gardner-Johnson after releasing starting S Anthony Harris

In a series of rapid movements on Tuesday morning, the Philadelphia Eagles made big changes to the security post.

According to multiple reports, the Eagles included the former safety departure Anthony Harris among their roster cuts as they worked to get down to 53 players. Minutes after those reports surfaced, another came: The Eagles traded for the former Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner Johnson, according to NFL.com. ESPN reported that the Eagles will send their fifth-round pick in 2023 and the worst of their two sixth-round picks in 2024 to New Orleans in exchange for Gardner-Johnson and an even rounder in 2025.

Harris signed with Philadelphia last offseason after spending the first six seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. He played and started 14 games for the Eagles a year ago, spending time lining up in the box, in the slot and deep in center field.

It’s a skill set that Gardner-Johnson also demonstrated throughout his career in New Orleans. Along with playing it safe, Gardner-Johnson was extremely effective in covering out of the slot. That versatility should help defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as he tries to build up the defense that was schematically interesting but not as effective as he had hoped last season.

The Eagles are also considering trying to sign Gardner-Johnson for an extension in short order. He’s heading into the final season of his rookie contract, and having traded up value to get him back, Philadelphia likely sees him as part of their long-term plan.

The Saints, meanwhile, are dropping a significant portion of their secondary, but still have plenty of depth. They still have Marcus Maye, PJ Williams, Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adeboand Bradley Robyand they signed Tyrant Matthew this offseason and drafted Avontae Taylor in the second round. There should be enough for new head coach Dennis Allen to explain the loss of one of the team’s most versatile players.

Eagles Trade Grade: A-

Philadelphia nabbed Gardner-Johnson for a very low cost. This is a team with draft picks to spare, and they only gave up latecomers for a player who should be a great pick for their defense. The only thing keeping this from being a straight “A” grade is that CJGJ has yet to be signed to an extension, and we don’t yet know what the terms of such a deal will be.

Commercial Grace of the Saints: C-

New Orleans could have easily kept Gardner-Johnson all season long, then let him walk in free agency and receive a compensatory third- or fourth-round pick in 2024. That would be more valuable to them than the fifth- and sixth-rounders. they received in this deal – although there would have been a bit of a delay. The extra year of quality play in an important position would have been worth it.

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