Saints’ C.J. Gardner-Johnson begs Tyrann Mathieu to come to NOLA

C.J. Gardner-Johnson #22 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
C.J. Gardner-Johnson #22 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints are back in the market for a free agent safety, and at least one current Saints player wants to go all in on Tyrann Mathieu.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson, best known for his ability to rile his opponents, believes Mathieu would be an incredible upgrade in the Saints’ already elite pass defense.

After Marcus Williams left for the Ravens, and after Malcolm Jenkins announced his retirement, NOLA’s secondary suddenly finds itself in a precarious position heading into the 2022 season. The team recently acquired Marcus Maye as a starting-caliber versatile safety, but his return from injury makes him a potential liability in the backfield.

The Saints signed former Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen, too, but given his streaky record, he’s a rotational depth piece at best.

Could the Saints go after Sorensen’s much more talented teammate, Tyrann Mathieu, as well?

Ceedy Duce certainly thinks so, and he thinks Mathieu’s signing would usher in a new defensive era for the black and gold:

New Orleans Saints pressured to go after free agent Tyrann Mathieu in 2022

Imagine, for a moment, a secondary composed of Mathieu, Maye, Ceedy Duce, and Marshon Lattimore…and Sorensen, we suppose. The Saints boasted one of the best pass defenses in the league in 2021, but adding a player of Mathieu’s caliber would send New Orleans’ defensive production through the roof.

The game-changing ballhawk has played in nearly every game in three years at Kansas City, and he’s coming off a Pro Bowl season that saw him record 76 combined tackles, six passes defended, and three interceptions.

Ceedy Duce has some experience picking off opponents, too, including two interceptions against the GOAT, Tom Brady, in 2021. With him and Mathieu potentially starting in the defense, Brady could get shut out again this season — maybe even twice.

For his part, Mathieu has spoken out on the possibility of joining the Saints, telling reporters “it would be great to represent my state, my city, the team I grew up watching.”

Sounds like there’s plenty of mutual respect and love between the two of them, and Mathieu would be rightfully considered a home-run free agent signing this offseason.

Next. 3 of the smartest moves the Saints have made in free agency so far. dark

Obviously, it’s not up to Ceedy Duce, and the Saints’ front office will have plenty of talks behind closed doors about how best to spend the team’s available cap. Even the suits can’t ignore the fact that Mathieu is an elite defender still in his prime, and NOLA would be lucky to have him.