A C.J. Gardner-Johnson comeback to the Detroit Lions now seems improbable

A C.J. Gardner-Johnson comeback to the Detroit Lions now seems improbable

A week ago I felt pretty good about the Detroit Lions bringing back safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. There was a feeling of unfinished business and I felt that Gardner-Johnson was the right guy for the Lions at this time. Now, not so much.

A C.J. Gardner-Johnson return to the Detroit Lions now feels unlikely

Let me be clear, this has nothing to do with the reasoning from some of the Lions fans. The waving to 49ers fans in the first half of the NFC Championship game and the personal foul on Deebo Samuel was dumb, but it has no bearing on this at all. Gardner-Johnson played pretty well other wise.

There’s three reasons why I feel this way today. The first one is that I talked with Pride of Detroit’s Jeremy Reisman and he made a good point that I hadn’t really thought about. I’ve been saying all offseason that Gardner-Johnson is going to have to go on a prove it deal in 2024 after missing most of the 2023 season. Is Detroit really the best place to do that? Probably not.

Whoever the Lions have at safety is going to have to be in a rotation and it’s hard to prove yourself when you’re not always on the field.

The other thing is that the safety market in free agency has suddenly become a treasure trove. There are no a bunch of guys that could fit really well with the Lions. Look at this list of players that are now available:

Justin Simmons
Quandre Diggs
Jodan Poyer
Kam Curl
Rayshawn Jenkins
Kevin Byard
Eddie Jackson
Xavier McKinney
Geno Stone
Jeremy Chinn

The list goes on and on. The Lions would be better off if they could get someone like Simmons or Diggs to come to Detroit.

The final thing is that the Lions met with multiple safeties at the 2024 NFL Combine. There’s a lot of reason to believe that they’ll draft one of those guys and make the rotation a little bigger.

Gardner-Johnson and the Lions are probably better off if they go their separate ways. Lions get a good safety and Gardner-Johnson gets a starting spot to show that he’s also a good safety.

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