Eagles Making ‘Strong Effort’ to Sign $66 Million Star: Report

Howie Roseman

Getty Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman.

Hold the phones. Stop the presses. Maybe it’s not a foregone conclusion that starting safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson is headed to another area code in 2023. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Philadelphia Eagles are making a “strong effort” to bring him back and solidify their secondary for the next half a decade.

The plugged-in national reporter included an update on Gardner-Johnson in his latest column on free agency and trade buzz. In it, Fowler reveals that the team is simply waiting to see how the safety market shakes out before making any drastic decisions. They are very interested in extending the 25-year-old hybrid defensive back.

And, if they can’t consummate a deal, it could leave the door open for All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry to return. Fowler wrote the following:

The Eagles have several key players they could bring back, and though it appears they are waiting for markets to develop before reacting, some around the league believe they’ve made a strong effort to re-sign safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who appears set for the open market. That could open the door to re-sign cornerback James Bradberry or another player.

Spotrac has projected at least $13.3 million per year for Gardner-Johnson or a five-year contract worth $66.65 million. The Eagles are incredibly thin at safety and may have no choice but to meet the rising cost and demand there.

Darius Slay: ‘No Bad Blood’ with Howie Roseman

Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay has been all over the headlines in recent days for an apparent trade request. He touched on the rumors on Twitter, then clarified further on his Big Play Slay podcast. The 32-year-old playmaker said he didn’t ask for a trade while implying that the Eagles’ front office put that information out there.

Slay wants to stay in Philly. He further explained there is absolutely no bad blood between him and general manager Howie Roseman. None. Zilch.

“I just want my fans to know, Slay did not ask to be traded,” Slay said, via NFL Media. “But this is part of the business. There’s no bad blood against neither one of us, me or (general manager) Howie (Roseman). None of that. We all good. Great understanding, just the business part of it.

“Great understanding, just the business part of it. A lot of guys go up for trade, you know, it got a lot of money involved in this situation. It’s nothing big. Nothing too serious, man. It’s part of the business. ”

Javon Hargrave Not Expected to Return: Report

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler provided an update on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, too. The Eagles aren’t expected to meet the rising costs associated with bringing him back. Hargrave is projected to earn $20.1 million per year (via Spotrac) or a three-year deal worth approximately $60.45 million. Rest assured, another team will pay him.

“This isn’t perceived as a great free agent class, but the top of the defensive tackle market could get pricey,” Fowler wrote. “Philadelphia’s Javon Hargrave is expected to get a big-money deal from some team (probably not Philadelphia).”

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