【N.J】 Ex-Eagles throwing dirt on team’s talent level – – – New Jersey News

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Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was the first former Eagles player to throw shade on the overall talent-level of the Super Bowl LVII runners-up.

Gardner-Johnson’s points were shot down instantly by the inveterate excuse makers who moaned it was a late holding call, no, the scoop and score on a Jalen Hurts fumble, no, the playing surface, no, Rihanna’s long and boring halftime act that robbed the Eagles of their second Super Bowl title a little over a month ago.

It was destiny, not a punchless San Francisco 49ers team without a healthy quarterback that carried the Eagles to their NFC title game blowout of the San Francisco 49ers.

Actually, it really was the quarterbacks, not that other stuff according to soft-spoken defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who, like C.J., is coming off a career season.

At any rate they easily were the most talented Eagles to walk in free agency, Gardner-Johnson signing with the Detroit Lions, Hargrave landing in San Francisco.

Beyond center Jason Kelce, who returned on a one-year, $14.25 million contract the Eagles basically presented take-it-or-leave-it proposals to a portion of their remaining 15 free agents. Realizing they’d have to go elsewhere to get paid what they were worth – after all. the pending contract extension for Jalen Hurts is the priority – the free agents who returned basically fought each other for the remaining dollars.

The bottom line is the Eagles aren’t any better than the team that couldn’t get one lousy stop in the second half of their three-point Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale, Ariz. We shall see if they draft well enough to fill the holes, because they are one mega-bucks contract extension from being a team with bills to pay.

In all, five defensive starters bailed on the Eagles, including linebackers TJ Edwards (Bears) and Kyzir White (Cardinals), and safety Marcus Epps (Raiders). On the other side of the ball running back Miles Sanders (Panthers) and guard Isaac Seumalo (Steelers) exited.

Naturally Gardner-Johnson was ticked the Eagles low-balled him while the market dried up in the first couple weeks of free agency. You’d be upset if you outperformed everyone in the office, asked to be paid like it and were told you’re not worth it. When defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon got the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job, Gardner-Johnson posted a tweet questioning the coach’s ability to put players in the right positions to make plays. He was right. Anybody whose defense gives up two walk-in scores in the world championship game needs to go back to GO, and not collect $200.

Gardner-Johnson was ridiculed for taking a one-year deal worth up to $8 million with the Lions because, you know, they’re the Lions. What the knuckleheads forgot is that no team, not even the Eagles were playing better down the homestretch than the Lions.

Instead, Gardner-Johnson was immediately bashed for overstating what his teammates also had quietly mentioned when asked to look back, pre-Super Bowl, at their toughest 2022 opponents; i.e. No team was more talented than the Lions, they said. C.J. being C.J., he embellished his thoughts.

“To be honest with you, it’s a little better,” Gardner-Johnson said of the skill level of the Lions at his introductory presser in Motown. “But that’s just me, I mean everybody can look from the outside looking in. But this team is talented. This team, we can win the division, like possibly win the division. Everybody should feel that way. But when I look at a team coming from where I came from, the teams I played on, won multiple divisions, been in playoff games, been to the Super Bowl, this team has what it takes to be a divisional (champion). Get there, win the division, get to the playoffs.”

Totally accurate except quarterback Jared Goff hasn’t won at the level he did in Los Angeles. Hurts is No. 1 in the NFC. Providing he stays healthy, the Eagles will have a chance to win every game they play in 2023 with the exception of the Kansas City Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) and possibly the Buffalo Bills (Josh Allen).

Hargrave, who signed a four-year, $84 million contract with the 49ers, said the Eagles knew it would be a laugher after Niners quarterbacks Brock Purdy, on the first series. and Josh Johnson were hurt in the NFC title game. The visitors went from a one-dimensional to non-dimensional.

“We kind of knew it was going to be different when all you can do is run the ball,” Hargrave said on NBC Sports Bay Area. “Of course, it made it a lot easier for us. Trust me, we’d seen the film on Brock escaping. We knew it was going to be a challenge trying to get to him, so it would have been, definitely, a different game if he had stayed up.”

You haven’t heard the last of the sniping from the Eagles who exited in free agency.

The schedule is tougher with the Chiefs, Rams, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Bills and the 49ers.

Not nearly as talented, the Eagles also are wearing the bull’s-eye.

To contact Bob Grotz email rgrotz@21st-centurymedia.com or follow him @bobgrotz on Twitter.

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