The New York Giants are in a bit of a cap pickle at the moment. They have about $5 million in cap space and they have two top-7 draft picks who they’ve yet to sign. Simple math tells us that someone has to go in order for the Giants to afford their draft picks. And that someone appears to be Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry.
Per ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan, all signs are pointing towards a Bradberry release.
Bradberry is set to have a cap hit of $21.8M in 2022. Releasing Bradberry would save about $10M in cap space for New York, but they would incur a dead cap hit of just about $11M.
It’s not an ideal situation for the Giants, but it could turn into a more than ideal situation for Howie Roseman and his Eagles.
The Eagles don’t have a starter set in stone at their CB2 spot opposite of Darius Slay. They’ve accumulated a lot of young talent at the position over the past two years, like Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, and Kary Vincent, along with a handful of undrafted free agents this year in Josh Jobe and Mario Goodrich. There’s nothing inherently wrong with letting all of those young guys have at it for the starting CB2 vacancy, but regardless of who wins that battle, it’s still a pretty glaring hole on an otherwise stout defense.
There are a few notable names on the free agent market, but Bradberry would instantly be the best of the group if he gets released.
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Bradberry, 29, has been a consistent corner ever since he entered the league with the Carolina Panthers in 2016. In six seasons, Bradberry has appeared in 92 games, starting 91 of them, and he’s tallied 15 interceptions, 82 pass deflections, and four forced fumbles. His best season came in 2020, his first with the Giants. Bradberry earned his first Pro Bowl nod that year, hauling in three interceptions while allowing 61.5 completion percentage and a passer rating of 81.2 on 91 targets. Per Pro Football Focus, Bradberry finished the year with an overall grade of 79.8, which ranked seventh out of 121 qualifying corners.
He regressed to the mean in 2021, posting a PFF grade of 62.8, 58th out of 116, but he still produced at a high level. Bradberry recorded four interceptions in 2021, while allowing a completion percentage of 61.7 and a passer rating of 93.0 on 115 targets.
Standing at 6-foot-1, with 33 3/8-inch arms (96th percentile among cornerbacks), Bradberry is a perfect fit in Jonathan Gannon’s defense. Throughout his coaching career, Gannon has preferred longer corners. Players like Xavier Rhodes (6-foot-1) and Rock Ya-Sin (6-foot), have all been at their best playing under Gannon. Not to mention the Eagles own Darius Slay, who had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021.
Per Spotrac, the Eagles still have about $5M in cap space to work with, and the expectation is that Howie will use those remaining funds to address his secondary. At this point in the offseason, Bradberry won’t demand a price tag like the one he’s playing under in New York. And if we know anything about Howie, it’s that he can manipulate the cap better than almost anyone.
If/when Braderry gets cut by New York, the Eagles should be first in line for his services.