Inside the Article:
Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had his sights set on C.J. Gardner-Johnson during the first week of free agency. Despite the Lions not looking to add a top-of-the-market safety, Holmes persisted in his pursuit of Gardner-Johnson, calling his agent numerous times during his daily commute. Gardner-Johnson's contract demands became more reasonable as free agency lingered on, and Holmes eventually landed the talented defensive back on a one-year deal worth up to $8 million.
- Holmes pursued Gardner-Johnson during the first week of free agency, despite not looking to add a top-of-the-market safety.
- Gardner-Johnson's contract demands became more reasonable as free agency lingered on.
- Holmes remained in touch with Gardner-Johnson's agent, Kevin Conner.
- Gardner-Johnson signed a one-year deal worth up to $8 million with the Lions.
- Gardner-Johnson can play safety or slot cornerback, and is one of three new defensive starters for the Lions.
- The Lions' secondary was an area of emphasis to improve this offseason.
Brad Holmes explains how he lured C.J. Gardner-Johnson to Detroit
Via Detroit Free Press:
“I just kept calling Kevin just kind of just checking in and saying, ‘Hey man, what’s going on?' And that just kept escalating, escalating,” Holmes said Monday at the NFL's annual spring meeting. “And then it escalated all the way up until I want to say Friday we had a good conversation, and then Saturday we followed up again, just internally as a group, and even Sunday morning it was just another one of those routine calls and it just happened to escalate till we kind of got in a position we could get it done.”
Holmes added that he “basically woke the whole household up” with his celebration.
Big Picture: Lions improve secondary with key free agent signing
The Lions' secondary was a weak spot last season, giving up the most yards and tying for the third-most points in the NFL. By adding C.J. Gardner-Johnson, along with fellow free agent additions Cam Sutton and Emanuel Moseley, the Lions hope to transform their defense and improve their chances of winning more games. Gardner-Johnson is a versatile defensive back who can play safety or slot cornerback, and his signing represents a significant upgrade for the Lions' defense.Visit Gear Up Detroit for more hot swag
Bottom Line – Persistence Pays Off for Brad Holmes
Brad Holmes' persistence in pursuing C.J. Gardner-Johnson during free agency paid off in a big way for the Lions. Gardner-Johnson is a talented defensive back who can help transform a struggling secondary, and his signing represents a significant upgrade for the Lions' defense. Holmes' success in landing Gardner-Johnson is a testament to the importance of persistence and determination in the NFL, and the Lions will hope that this signing leads to more success on the field in the upcoming season.