American football safety Chauncey “C. J.” Gardner-Johnson, also known as Chauncey Gardner Jr., plays for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL).
In the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected him from Florida’s collegiate football program.
In his first two seasons with Florida, Gardner-Johnson was referred to as Chauncey Gardner Jr. In honour of his stepfather, Brian Johnson, he altered his jersey’s name for his junior season to Gardner-Johnson. Although Chauncey Gardner Sr., Gardner-real Johnson’s father, has been a part of his upbringing, Johnson has taken care of Gardner-Johnson since he was a little child.
Gardner-Johnson participated in all 14 games as a true freshman at Florida, starting the final seven contests of the season. Gardner-Johnson was voted the Outback Bowl MVP in 2017 after recording two tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a score. Gardner-Johnson started all 11 of his games as a sophomore.
Chauncey-Gardner was switched to the nickelback position prior to his junior season. Gardner-Johnson declared on November 26, 2018, that he would forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
The New Orleans Saints selected Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (105th overall). Thanksgiving Day’s Week 13 game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets saw Gardner-Johnson make his first career interception off a pass from Matt Ryan, helping the Jets to a 26-18 victory.
During the 38-28 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 16, Gardner-Johnson made 8 tackles and caused a fumble on wide receiver Kalif Raymond, which he then recovered.
How Good Is C.J. Gardner-Johnson?
For the 2022 season, Gardner-Johnson was ranked as the second-best slot defender in the NFL by Touchdown Wire. His Saints colleague for about five minutes, Tyrann Mathieu, came in first.
What Happened To C.J. Gardner-Johnson?
The Saints dealt Gardner-Johnson and a 2025 seventh-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles on August 30, 2022, in exchange for a fifth-round pick and the lesser of their two 2024 NFL Draft sixth-round picks.