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Why did C.J. Gardner-Johnson choose Lions over Eagles?

By Mike Santa Barbara,

C.J. Gardner-Johnson Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday night, the Detroit Lions made a huge free agent splash, agreeing to a one-year deal with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Adding Gardner-Johnson to its secondary is a massive move for the Lions, but also a surprise, considering that the Eagles seemed prime to make a major push to keep the talented defensive back.

According to Jeff McLane of the 'Philadephia Inquirer,' several factors led to Gardner-Johnson's exit from Philly.

Despite making him a multi-year offer early in free agency, Gardner-Johnson reportedly sought a more lucrative deal from the Eagles. With other spots to shore up, Philly moved on, re-signing James Bradberry and extending veteran Darius Slay.

It seems that Gardner-Johnson and his agent potentially overvalued his market in free agency, ultimately settling on a one-year contract with the Lions as he tries to build his case for a larger deal next spring.

Garnder-Johnson's contract with Detroit is for $8 million with $6.5 guaranteed, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

The Eagles initially acquired the 25-year-old defensive back in a trade with the New Orleans Saints in exchange for two draft picks back in April. In his only season in Philly, Gardner-Johnson was impactful, leading the NFL in interceptions (6) while recording 67 tackles and a sack in 12 games.

Gardner-Johnson missed five games after suffering a gruesome lacerated kidney against the Green Bay Packers in Week 12. He returned in Week 17 against the New York Giants and played in all three of the team's postseason games, including Super Bowl LVII.

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