After the Chauncey Gardner-Johnson trade, it’s clear that something was rotten in the Saints secondary

Life comes at you fast.

One day, you’re reminiscing about how good the Saints looked in their preseason finale against the L.A. Chargers. Jameis Winston and the offense were crisp, and the starting defense was stout.

The next, you wake up to the news that the heart and soul of your favorite team has been traded to a conference rival for a return worth less than a LaToya Cantrell campaign promise.

On Tuesday, our beloved safety/nickel corner/resident shit-stirrer Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (and a 7th-round pick) was unloaded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for future 5th and 6th round picks.  For a player as talented and productive as the man who self-styled himself as “Ceedy Duce,” the value the Saints got back is shockingly low.

From a fan’s perspective, this move is not only shocking, but incredibly sad.  Maddening, even.  Gardner-Johnson has provided nothing but pure joy to the Who Dat Nation since his ascension as one of the NFL’s best slot enforcers, delighting us by round-house kicking the Falcons logo and providing a photo opp that could only be topped by Drew Brees hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February 2010: openly mocking Tom Brady on national television.

*Had* the best secondary in the league. Womp womp.

Gardner-Johnson is the pettiness of Saints Twitter personified. 

He brought our tenacity, our sense of humor and our unchecked insanity onto the field and helped Dennis Allen’s defense become arguably the best unit in the league.

There is a flip side to that, though, and this is the horse pill we are all being forced to swallow.  Gardner-Johnson’s behavior could also be seen as unprofessional.

Removing emotion from the equation, the Saints’ actions speak louder than any soundbite.  They wanted Ceedy Duce off the team, and they wanted him off the team now.  There’s not much reading between the lines that needs to be done here because the pitiful return says it all.  The Saints wanted him gone and it’s probably not a stretch to assume they feared the situation would get out of hand and he would become a disruption.

As much as it stings, we must remember that Mickey Loomis and his cohorts on Airline Drive are smarter than us (when it comes to running the franchise).  They have much more data.  They know things we don’t.

There’s probably much more to this story, as has been suggested by many Saints media personalities in the hours since the trade.  Once his contract extension negotiations broke down, Gardner-Johnson reportedly was visibly and vocally unhappy at camp.  According to Saints beat guru Nick Underhill, Gardner-Johnson had stopped listening to his coaches. There are other whispers of his outlandish behavior that could change our opinion of the former Saints DB for the worse.

That sort of speculation (and why the media wasn’t more vocal about this mess before the trade) is a can of worms I’ll gingerly put back on the shelf. All we need to know is that Loomis and Allen wanted Gardner-Johnson out of New Orleans.

Luckily, the Saints enter the regular season stacked at safety.  Marcus Maye appears to be solid, P.J. Williams is a more than capable backup and situational player, Justin Evans returned from the dead in full force, veteran Bradley Roby and rookie 2nd rounder Alontae Taylor will get their chances in the slot, and the mere thought of Tyrann Mathieu in black and gold gets me all hot and bothered.

And that could be a major factor in the only thing that’ll push us through our Ceedy Duce blues – winning.

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