Saints want Gardner-Johnson ruffling receivers, within rules


METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The Saints don’t want the NFL’s renewed emphasis on punishing unsportsmanlike behavior to squelch C.J. Gardner-Johnson, their ultra-competitive and trash talking defensive back. They only hope Gardner-Johnson can continue to ruffle opposing receivers without drawing flags. A crew of NFL officials has been visiting Saints training camp this week. And coach Sean Payton says he “absolutely” wants Gardner-Johnson to be aware of the increased scrutiny of player behavior and consider the cost when officials don’t like what they see or hear. Gardner-Johnson irritated two opposing receivers last season to the point where they were ejected for punching him.