James Bradberry

Eagles To Sign James Bradberry

James Bradberry is headed to Philly. On Wednesday, the free agent cornerback agreed to a one-year, $10MM with the Eagles, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Bradberry, 28, was cut by the G-Men earlier this month. That was pretty much expected, given his would-be cap hit of $21.8MM+ and the other cost-cutting moves that were made by new GM Joe Schoen. The Giants tried to trade him, but ultimately couldn’t find a suitable deal.

I thought there would be more interest,” Schoen admitted earlier this spring. “There were some teams that showed interest pre-draft, and we had a couple different times [where] there [was] compensation in place and the contract never worked out.”

The former second-round pick was a Pro Bowler in 2020 and has only missed five games across his six-year career. In 2021, his second season with the Giants, he played in all 17 games, tallying 47 tackles, a career-high four interceptions and 17 passes defensed. Clearly, Bradberry still has a lot left in the tank. Now, he’ll get a chance to face his former club twice in 2022 and, perhaps, give them some second thoughts about releasing him.

For what it’s worth, the Giants explored bringing Bradberry back on a cheaper deal. The Texans, Chiefs, and Raiders were also connected to him, but the Eagles ultimately placed the winning bid. Now, Bradberry will team with Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox atop the Birds’ cornerback depth chart.

Raiders Interested In James Bradberry

In the aftermath of James Bradberry hitting the open market, the identities of teams most interested in signing him is becoming clearer. The Raiders are one of those, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

[RELATED: Giants Release Bradberry]

Vegas would be a sensible destination, Bonsignore notes, for a number of reasons. One is the health status of starter Trayvon Mullen, who underwent “minor surgery”. Another, more generally, is the presence of defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. He was hired by the Raiders this offseason after holding that same title with the Giants for the past two seasons – overlapping with Bradberry’s time in the Big Apple.

It was with Graham that the 28-year-old earned his lone Pro Bowl appearance in 2020. This past year, he had another strong campaign, totalling 47 tackles, a career-high four interceptions and 17 pass deflections. Given his cap hit of nearly $22MM, however, it was deemed inevitable he would be either traded or released this offseason.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen acknowledged yesterday that while there was trade interest, inquiring teams couldn’t work out contract terms to consummate a deal. It was reported not long after Bradberry’s release that the Texans were one such team, but that they are unlikely to pursue him in free agency, given their subsequent additions at the position. That could lead the former second rounder towards the Chiefs, who were likewise reported to be eyeing a trade for him in March.

As Bonsignore cautions, the Raiders may not be able to make Bradberry a competitive offer until next month. The team currently has less than $6MM in cap space, though that figure will grow considerably when their post-June 1st cuts come into effect. Interested as they may be, then, Vegas may not, at least immediately, represent the best landing spot for one of the top free agents on the market.

Giants, Texans Had James Bradberry Trade In Place; Chiefs Still On Radar?

It appears the Giants found a taker for James Bradberry‘s contract, but discussions on a prospective extension scuttled the deal, leading the veteran cornerback to free agency.

The Texans and Giants had a trade in place, according to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, one that would have seen Houston send a late-round pick to New York for the seventh-year cornerback (subscription required). These talks occurred before the draft, and Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com notes the Texans are not believed to be in play for Bradberry as a free agent (Twitter link). Houston has since signed Steven Nelson and drafted Derek Stingley Jr.  third overall.

The Giants agreed to pay part of Bradberry’s $13.4MM salary, per Duggan, but Wilson adds the sides were more than $5MM apart on a long-term extension. Bradberry was going into a contract year, but the Texans wanted to lock him down beyond 2022 upon acquiring him. By cutting Bradberry, the Giants will save more than $10MM. The former Panthers second-round pick, who signed a three-year deal worth $45MM with the Giants in 2020, will almost certainly play on a much lower salary this season.

Previously mentioned as a Bradberry suitor, the Chiefs are expected to look into him again, Wilson tweets. Kansas City lost Charvarius Ward in free agency but did use its first draft choice on Washington corner Trent McDuffie. Multiyear contributor Rashad Fenton remains with the team, though he is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury that leaves him uncertain to start training camp on time, as does versatile defender L’Jarius Sneed.

No serious pay-cut discussions between the Giants and Bradberry commenced, per Duggan, and the team passed on an automatic restructure of adding a void year to defray some of Bradberry’s cap hit to 2023. Because of this expected separation, the Giants became quite thin at corner. They drafted potential slot option Cordale Flott in Round 3 and have 2021 third-rounder Aaron Robinson as well, but Adoree’ Jackson moves up to the No. 1 spot for the rebuilding team.

Giants Release James Bradberry

James Bradberry‘s time with the Giants has finally come to an end. The team announced on Monday that they have released the veteran corner. 

It was reported last week that a release was inevitable in this case. From the beginning of the offseason, Bradberry, 28, was named as a cut candidate, owing to his scheduled cap hit of over $21.8MM. New general manager Joe Schoen made a number of cost-cutting moves throughout March, but held on to Bradberry in the hopes of finding a trade partner.

For a time, it was believed the former second-round pick was drawing trade interest, as teams with sufficient cap space would presumably be willing to acquire him via that route. However, Schoen recently admitted that he was surprised at how cool the market was for the Pro Bowler.

“I thought there would be more interest” he said on WFAN Sports Radio, via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan“There were some teams that showed interest pre-draft, and we had a couple different times [where] there [was] compensation in place and the contract never worked out.”

Bradberry has only missed five games during his six-year career, which began with the Panthers. In 2021, his second campaign with the Giants, he played in all 17 contests, totalling 47 tackles, a career-high four interceptions and 17 passes defensed. By releasing him, the Giants will leave over $11.7MM on the books in dead money, but gain over $10.1MM in much-needed cap space.

“It’s just where we are financially” Schoen added. “We still got to sign our draft picks, be able to sign our practice squad and have replacement costs for during the season.”

Now, Bradberry will hit the open market as arguably the top free agent available at any position. Given his age, production and, now, the lack of his previous contract as an impediment, he should have plenty of suitors amongst teams seeking starting-caliber help in the secondary.

Latest On James Bradberry

The draft has come and gone, meaning that much of the attention regarding the Giants is being turned back on to cornerback James Bradberry. Keeping in line with what has been expected throughout the offseason, it appears he will be on his way out of New York soon. 

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that “all signs point” to Bradberry being released “soon” (Twitter link). That had long been the expected outcome of this situation, though in the run-up to free agency it was reported he was drawing trade interest. As Raanan details, general manager Joe Schoen recently described the trade market for the 28-year-old as being “tougher than expected”.

The relative lack of offers is directly tied, of course, to the primary reason the team is set to move on from him in the first place. Bradberry is scheduled to have a cap hit of just over $21.8MM in 2022, the final non-void year on his contract. Schoen acknowledged the possibility of extending him to lower that figure, but called it a “last resort”. Moving on from the Pro Bowler would be the latest in a string of cost-cutting moves the Giants have made, as Schoen continues to try and carve out much-needed cap room.

The Chiefs were named as one of the teams most interested in acquiring Bradberry before or during the draft, but they elected to use three selections on corner prospects. As was noted at the time, it was always far more likely teams would look to add him as a free agent after his release, rather than trading for his contract. On that point, Raanan notes how hitting the open market so late in free agency will likely hurt the value of his next deal. Still, his age and level of play should generate notable interest from a number of teams looking to add to their secondary.

CB Notes: Bills, Bradberry, Giants, Gardner, Texans, Jets, Jaguars, Browns, Ward

Losing Levi Wallace in free agency, the Bills have a cornerback need a week away from the draft. The two-time defending AFC East champions will be linked to corners early, but they are still looking into the veteran market. Brandon Beane confirmed the team has spoken with free agent corners, via The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia (on Twitter). While Stephon Gilmore is now off the board, several other accomplished vets remain available. The player Gilmore is set to replace in Indianapolis, Xavier Rhodes, is a free agent. So is Joe Haden, whom the Steelers appear to have replaced with Wallace. Buffalo has Taron Johnson as its slot cornerback, so boundary players would seemingly be the focus on the veteran front. Jackrabbit Jenkins‘ Titans contract expired, and Trae Waynes and Kyle Fuller loom as potential bounce-back candidates. Richard Sherman is set to turn 34 this year, but he has a career’s worth of high-end zone production.

Here is the latest from the cornerback scene:

  • Lovie Smith indicated his team needs cornerback help, and it might even come at No. 3 overall. Several teams believe Ahmad Gardner could be the Texans‘ choice at 3, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler tweets. Houston has also done extensive work on LSU’s Derek Stingley. Given where they are in the rebuilding process, the Texans make sense as a true best-player-available team. That would seemingly point to a tackle choice — be it Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu — but corner buzz has followed this team for a bit now.
  • Stingley played just 10 games between the 2020 and ’21 seasons, seeing injuries slow his momentum after a dominant freshman season. But the LSU product is creeping into the top-10 picture, with ESPN.com’s Matt Miller noting Stingley and Gardner are looking likely to each be top-10 selections (Twitter link). The 6-foot defender, per one evaluator who spoke to NBC Sports’ Peter King, has “the best feet of any corner I’ve ever seen.” Mel Kiper Jr.’s most recent ESPN.com mock draft has Gardner going fourth to the Jets and Stingley going 12th to the Vikings. The Jaguars and Jets hosted Stingley on visits this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • The Washington Huskies could see two corners go in the first round. With Trent McDuffie positioning himself as the draft’s third-best corner, Miller adds a few teams do not expect Kyler Gordon to reach Day 2 of the draft (Twitter link). ESPN ranks Gordon 31st overall, though Todd McShay has him going 42nd in he and Kiper’s latest mock. The 5-foot-11 defender played four seasons at Washington, but only two (2019 and ’21) involved more than three games.
  • New Giants GM Joe Schoen said a scenario exists where the Giants retain James Bradberry, via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). Entering the final year of his contract, Bradberry has long expected to be dealt. The Giants have discussed their No. 1 corner with teams, and while they have said an extension for the Dave Gettleman-era signee is possible, Bradberry’s $21.9MM cap number sits second on Big Blue’s payroll. The Giants ($6MM-plus in cap space) would save more than $11MM by designating Bradberry as a post-June 1 cut, if no team offers a draft pick to take on the veteran cover man’s $13.4MM base salary.
  • Denzel Ward‘s five-year, $100.5MM Browns extension includes $44.5MM fully guaranteed, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. That figure also leads all corners. In addition to his signing bonus, the Browns fully guaranteed Ward’s 2022 and ’23 base salaries ($1MM, $4MM, respectively). Ward’s 2024 base ($15.3MM) shifts from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. That same structure is present for 2025, with that base salary ($13.5MM) already being guaranteed for injury. It becomes fully guaranteed on Day 3 of the 2024 league year.

Giants Could Extend CB James Bradberry

Throughout the offseason, it has sounded like the Giants and James Bradberry were heading toward a divorce. However, if the Giants are unable to find a trade partner, they could reverse course and extended their star cornerback instead. Per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, GM Joe Schoen has expressed a willingness to extend Bradberry “as a last resort.”

Why a last resort? The Giants aren’t trading Bradberry because of reduced play or anything. Rather, the cornerback is set to count for $21.8MM against the cap, and the Giants could save $12.1MM in space by trading the player. The pricey cap hit is the Giants’ primary motivation for exploring a trade, but it sounds like Schoen will clear up some cap space one way or the other.

An extension would decrease Bradberry’s cap hit in 2022…but it would dig into future space, something Schoen and the Giants front office has tried to avoid. The Giants continue to seek a third-round pick for the cornerback, and it will be interesting to see if a team is willing to bite on a trade as the draft approaches. The Chiefs were recently connected to Bradberry.

Despite a down year in 2021, Bradberry should still hold interest for cornerback-needy teams. He’s not too far removed from a Pro Bowl appearance in 2020, when he posted the lowest passer rating of any CB in the league, per PFF. This past season, the 28-year-old finished with 47 tackles and four interceptions.

Chiefs Interested In Trading For James Bradberry?

After the plethora of cost-cutting moves the Giants have made in Joe Schoen‘s first year as general manager, the biggest question surrounding the team remains the future of cornerback James Bradberry. According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, the Chiefs have emerged as an interested party trying to trade for him. 

[RELATED: Giants Could Keep Bradberry Past The Draft]

Wilson reports that there are “ongoing trade discussions” between New York and Kansas City. He is quick to add, though, that “varying degrees of confidence” exist on “if and when a deal is ultimately struck”, and that nothing is imminent at this time.

The news comes one day after Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reported that the Giants were looking to have a trade consummated “before the end of the NFL draft”. He also named the Chiefs as a potential destination, along with the Colts and Texans. The Giants’ asking price had reportedly included a third-round pick, but that may no longer be the case.

Vacchiano states that the Giants “are willing to pick up some of Bradberry’s $13.4MM salary” to help facilitate a trade. Moving on from the 28-year-old – either through a trade or release – would save the Giants eight figures in cap space. Knowing that, most other teams are said to waiting to sign him as a free agent, rather than paying with draft compensation. The Chiefs, Wilson notes however, are “extremely interested” in trading for the Pro Bowler with a deal which could include “swapping picks in the middle rounds”.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll referred to Bradberry’s circumstances as “a fluid situation”. Depending on how trade negotiations go, that situation could have a resolution sooner rather than later.

Chiefs, Stephon Gilmore Discussing Deal

Stephon Gilmore‘s top two suitors look to be in the AFC West, a division that has seen a few impact defenders arrive over the past two weeks. While the Raiders are eyeing the former Defensive Player of the Year, the Chiefs are as well.

The Chiefs have joined the Raiders in discussing a deal with Gilmore, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com notes. The Raiders were connected to Gilmore early in free agency and have ex-Patriot staffers Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels running the team, but the veteran cornerback has options.

Gilmore, 31, being patient is unsurprising here, given his quest to see a pay raise during the second half of his Patriots tenure. Gilmore voiced frustration about his Pats contract — a five-year, $65MM deal that became wildly team-friendly as the market moved — in 2020 and 2021, leading to a pay bump for the ’20 season and a trade to the Panthers the following year. Leading up to free agency, Carolina had not closed the door on a Gilmore re-signing. But the team prioritized Donte Jackson, who has since signed an extension.

A Gilmore-Kansas City addition would give the Chiefs additional ammo in an AFC West that has seen defenders Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones, Randy Gregory, D.J. Jones, Sebastian Joseph-Day and ex-Gilmore sidekick J.C. Jackson join the Chiefs’ rivals. The Chiefs lost Charvarius Ward to a $14MM-per-year 49ers deal and saw contributor Mike Hughes sign with the Lions. While Kansas City signed Justin Reid, it looks to come at the expense of a Tyrann Mathieu exit. The Chiefs still have L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton at corner, but the team is eyeing veterans.

A James Bradberry trade remains on the Chiefs’ radar, Wilson adds. The Giants are looking to move Bradberry, but he is going into a contract year on a $13.4MM salary. That has limited his trade appeal thus far. Kansas City has not spent much on cornerbacks in recent years, but its Tyreek Hill trade has freed up some cash. The defending division champs went to work immediately after dealing Hill, signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jermaine Carter over the past two days.

Chiefs Eyeing Veteran Cornerbacks

The Chiefs are on the lookout for a cornerback. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chiefs make a “move on a veteran corner in the coming weeks.” Specifically, Fowler has heard the Chiefs connected to free agent Stephon Gilmore and Giants cornerback James Bradberry, who could be released or traded.

Gilmore, 31, was traded midseason from New England to Carolina after a new deal with the Patriots couldn’t be worked out. In eight games in Charlotte, he registered two interceptions, helping him to a fourth consecutive Pro Bowl, the fifth of his career. Despite his impressive resume, the veteran still hasn’t found a home for next season. So far this offseason, Gilmore has only been definitively connected to the Raiders.

Many assumed that the Giants would trade or release the 28-year-old Bradberry before the new league year started last week. The veteran cornerback remains on the roster, but there’s still a chance the team moves on from him, as the Giants can realize more than $10MM in cap savings by cutting the defensive back. Despite a down year in 2021, Bradberry should still hold interest for cornerback-needy teams. He’s not too far removed from a Pro Bowl appearance in 2020, when he posted the lowest passer rating of any CB in the league, per PFF.

The Chiefs have already been active in reshuffling their secondary this offseason. The front office pivoted away from Tyrann Mathieu and replaced him with free agent safety Justin Reid.