C.J. Gardner-Johnson fined for late hit out of bounds vs. Panthers

John Sigler
·1 min read

Here’s one more low moment for New Orleans Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. A week after his worst game as a pro, the second-year defensive back has been hit with a $5,128 penalty for unnecessary roughness in his team’s narrow win over the Carolina Panthers. Nola.com’s Amie Just first reported the fine.

Gardner-Johnson was also fouled on the play at the time, tacking on 15 yards to the Panthers after he shoved wide receiver Robby Anderson to the ground out of bounds. It turned a 26-yard gain into a 41-yard pickup for Carolina, leading to a Panthers touchdown minutes later.

Anderson victimized Gardner-Johnson in coverage throughout the matchup, with Pro Football Focus crediting the receiver with 4 catches on 5 targets to gain 59 yards when lined up against him. 3 of those receptions converted a first down, including the catch-and-run that preceded this illegal hit. Frustrations obviously boiled over.

As a rookie and former mid-round draft pick, Gardner-Johnson is only earning about $39,705 per week in base salary this season. So the fine he was just issued by the NFL amounts to nearly 12.9% of his total weekly earnings. It’s a costly reminder to remain disciplined, but should drive home how important it is for him to not hurt his team like that.