New Orleans Saints veterans understand NFL business and CJ Gardner-Johnson trade
Davis was Gardner-Johnson’s teammate for the past three seasons and saw him go from rookie to being a vital part of one of the league’s best defenses as a top-notch cornerback.
“At this point in the league, you’ve seen almost everything,” said Davis, entering his 11th season. “So there’s not much that really shocks you. It’s part of the game, it’s part of the business.
“He’s a phenomenal player, he’s been phenomenal in what we’ve done. Good players in this league are hard to come by, but he’s a next man to pick up.
“It’s a tough day (Tuesday). Not just with that, but they have to narrow the roster down to 53. It’s a business, and you understand that. But it’s still relationships, and it’s not like if you lost those relationships.” It changes the dynamic of your dressing room when the guys were there once, and then they’re gone. It’s just the reality of what we face on a regular basis. It’s not just our team, every team takes care of that. It’s nothing unique, but as a human being, you get emotions when someone’s around you and all of a sudden that’s not the case anymore.
“I trust our organization and the decisions they make, the guys who are there will be able to get the job done.”
Still, Davis said, it can be a troubling situation because of the off-court dynamics.
“The game is easy,” Davis said. “The game is the game. It’s a next man thing, it’s the NFL. You lose good players all the time. Some Hall of Fame players were on a team and then they don’t. So how do you replace a void like that? We had to do it here at quarterback, losing one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (to Drew Brees).
“So the game goes on. That’s the easy part. The life part is what’s hard. You develop great relationships with individuals and they’re close to you. And I guess the happy part is that it’s hard. is life and they just move to a different place but just not being able to see that person every day and being able to laugh and hang out and chat with someone who was a comrade, who was just next to you.These emotions don’t go away.
“Imagine you’re in high school and your buddies, then your parents come and tell you you’re moving out, and now you have to go. You’re going through this on both sides: the kids are hurting because they can’t go. time with friends is the first thing they think about, and then parents have to deal with the dynamics of moving, adjusting, and that’s what players and families have to go through that no one sees.
“Everyone sees the game, but they don’t see what’s going on in life behind it. You have to sell your house, you have to move your stuff, you have to find new schools for your kids, you have to build new relationships. And every dynamic that everybody has in life, that’s what we have. And so, the game is easy. That’s the part of life that’s hard.”
As for the challenge of filling the void in high school, Mathieu said the Saints are confident they have the right personnel.
“I’ve done these things (in the slot machine) in the past,” he said. “Obviously if the coach wants to put me there, I’m more than willing to throw my hand in the pile. But we have guys like (Bradley) Roby, PJ Williams, guys who have been in this system already for one while that kind of knowing the ins and outs of it in great detail. No matter which one of these guys comes in, I think these guys will be a good look for us.