NFL News & Analysis

August 30 Training Camp Notes: Saints trade DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to Eagles, Raiders trade CB Trayvon Mullen to Cardinals and more

Note: All roster cuts happening around the NFL can be found on PFF’s official cuts tracker. 

New Orleans Saints trade DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to Philadelphia Eagles

  • Philadelphia is sending a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024 to the Saints for Gardner-Johnson and a seventh-round pick in 2025.
  • Gardner–Johnson is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $2.54 million in 2022. Contract extension talks with the Saints reached an impasse, leading to this trade to Philadelphia.
  • A fourth-round pick in 2019, Johnson earned a respectable 69.1 coverage grade in 2021, which puts him in the upper half of starting slot cornerbacks, and he’s also made more plays on the ball in the slot than anyone since entering the league in 2018 (24).
  • However, Philadelphia intends to play him at safety, which makes sense for Gardner-Johnson from a financial standpoint. The safety market has continued to rise over the last several years, while the slot corner market has remained relatively flat. Eagles GM Howie Roseman declined to answer if the team will address his contract before the start of the season.

Las Vegas Raiders trade CB Trayvon Mullen to Arizona Cardinals

  • The Cardinals are sending a seventh-round pick in 2023 that could become a sixth-round pick based on Mullen playing 10 games.
  • Mullen was the Raiders second-round pick in 2019 and is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
  • He started 26 games over the first two years of his career, but was limited to five games last year due to a toe and foot injury. His highest grades season was his rookie year when he finished with a 62.5 PFF grade.
  • The Raiders this offseason traded for Rock Ya-Sin, signed Anthony Averett, and are very high on second-year corner Nate Hobbs, which is why Mullen was expendable.
  • Arizona has been in dire need of corner help and will have Mullen join Byron Murphy Jr., Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton.

Las Vegas Raiders cut former first-round OT Alex Leatherwood

  • The Raiders, under GM Mike Mayock and HC Jon Gruden, selected Leatherwood with the 17th overall pick in last year’s draft. The pick was considered a reach and it did not pan out.
  • He struggled mightily as a rookie, earning a 30.7 PFF grade at right tackle before being moved to guard in Week 5 where he earned a 54.0 grade. 
  • A new head coach in Josh McDaniels did not make things any better, as Leatherwood was beaten out by rookie seventh-rounder Thayer Munford in camp, leading to today’s move.
  • Assuming no team claims him on waivers, the Raiders will take a $7.9 million dead money charge by moving on.
  • The Raiders now don’t have any of their three first-round picks from the last two years (WR Henry Ruggs, CB Damon Arnette and Leatherwood), and none of their three first-rounders from 2019 (DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, S Johnathan Abram) had their fifth-year options picked up this offseason.

Houston Texans trade DT Ross Blacklock to Minnesota Vikings

  • Minnesota will send a sixth-round pick to Houston for Blacklock and a seventh-rounder.
  • Blacklock, a second-round pick in 2020, played 29 games with three starts during his time with Houston. He was selected with the pick the Texans acquired in the infamous DeAndre Hopkins trade with Arizona
  • He has not graded particularly well in two years, recording a 30.2 overall grade as a rookie, and a 50.4 grade last year, though his 39.0 run-defense grade is alarming.
  • Minnesota released DT Armon Watts earlier in the day, and Blacklock appears to be his replacement. Making the switch saves Minnesota $1 million in salary cap space.

Baltimore Ravens sign RB Kenyan Drake 

  • Drake was recently released by the Las Vegas Raiders, but it didn’t take long for him to find a new home.
  • Baltimore recently placed Gus Edwards (knee) on PUP, meaning he’s out for at least the first four games of the year, and RB JK Dobbins has made great progress from his knee injury, but it’s no guarantee he’ll be full-go for the start of the season. 
  • Appearing in 12 games last season, Drake earned a 73.1 PFF grade and an 82.0 receiving grade. He totaled 545 yards from scrimmage — 254 rushing and 291 through the air. He suffered a gruesome ankle injury in Week 13, ending his season in its tracks. 
  • He has fully recovered from the injury and should be in line for playing time early in the season.

Miami Dolphins CB Byron Jones placed on reserve/PUP

  • Jones underwent a “clean up” on his left Achilles in March after dealing with a lingering injury during the 2021 season. The move to reserve/PUP means he’ll miss at least the first four games of the season.
  • Jones has seen his PFF grades drop from his Dallas days since signing a five-year, $82 million contract as a free agent in 2020, recording grades of 63.6 and 65.0 in two seasons with Miami. Nonetheless, he has still been among the 30 most valuable corners since 2020.
  • The Dolphins have been relying on former first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene and veteran Keion Crossen throughout camp to help replace Jones.

Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White placed on reserve/PUP

  • White will miss at least the first four weeks of the season as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered last season on Thanksgiving night.
  • White has been one of the top corners in the league, ranking third among qualifying cornerbacks in yards per coverage snap allowed since entering the NFL in 2017 (0.87). 
  • Buffalo is expected to start Dane Jackson and first-round rookie Kaiir Elam to start the year as they wait for White’s eventual return.

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