C.J. Gardner-Johnson says Detroit Lions ‘Are just using me for what they want'
Heading into the offseason, there was no question about it that Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes had to make some moves to improve what was an awful secondary in 2022. Holmes did just that by signing a trio of free-agent defensive backs, including C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Despite intercepting six passes with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, and being one of the best available safeties on the market, Gardner-Johnson only got a 1-year, $6.5 million deal from the Lions. In a recent interview with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Gardner-Johnson said the Lions “are just using me for what they want.”
What did C.J. Gardner-Johnson say?
If the Lions are going to get to the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl, Gardner-Johnson is going to have to play a big role. That being said, he does not seem to think it matters what he does this season when it comes to signing a long-term deal in Detroit.
“Man, truthfully to be honest with you, bro, and I don’t care if this go in the media or not, I feel like, truthfully I feel like they’re just using me for what they want me for,” he said. “I mean, regardless of playing and all this shit, I just feel like every team just want to use me for who I am, so I get under people’s skin and just let me go next year when they don’t make it. Like, that’s a scary feeling.”
Super Bowl and Out?
According to Birkett, Gardner-Johnson is open to staying with the Lions past the 2023 season, but he realizes the team has to pay other players before him. With that thought in mind, he is focused on bringing a Super Bowl to Detroit and then moving on.
“I’m gonna bring a championship to Detroit and I’m gonna get the (expletive) on,” he said. “That’s the only thing they want you for. So I’m going to do my job and bring me a championship. As long as I’m here, I’m going to try to bring one and I’m going to go.”
“Man, listen, my life, there’s a lot of shit that’s moving around in it, but my main focus is bringing a championship here and get the (expletive) on,” he said. “And get the (expletive) on don’t necessarily mean leave Detroit, just like, keep it pushing. There’s more out there.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- C.J. Gardner-Johnson's Frustration: The Detroit Lions signed C.J. Gardner-Johnson, a talented defensive back, during the offseason to improve their secondary. Despite his impressive performance in intercepting six passes with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, Gardner-Johnson expressed frustration with his 1-year, $6.5 million deal with the Lions.
- Feeling Used: Gardner-Johnson voiced his belief that the Lions are “just using me for what they want.” He seemed skeptical about the team's long-term commitment to him, suggesting that they might be interested in utilizing his skills for a single season and then moving on.
- Championship Focus: While Gardner-Johnson is open to staying with the Lions beyond the 2023 season, he recognizes the financial constraints the team faces with other players. His primary focus is to bring a Super Bowl championship to Detroit, after which he intends to explore his options, emphasizing that there's more to his career beyond the current situation.
Bottom Line: C.J. Gardner-Johnson's Quest for More
In the midst of contract frustrations and the feeling of being merely “used” by the Detroit Lions, C.J. Gardner-Johnson remains steadfast in his mission to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Motor City. While his future with the team may be uncertain, his determination to leave a lasting impact on Detroit is undeniable. For Gardner-Johnson, it's about more than just being a pawn in a football game; it's about making a meaningful mark and embracing the opportunities that lie beyond the gridiron.