You wanted James Bradberry? Well, you got him!
Howie Roseman made many Philadelphia Eagles fans very happy on Wednesday morning by signing the free agent cornerback to a one-year contract reportedly worth $10 million. UPDATE: Adam Schefter says the contract is worth $7.25 million guaranteed with another $2.5 million “in upside.”
We previously downplayed the Eagles as the most likely landing spot for Bradberry. Here’s me being dumb and wrong:
The New York Giants officially released James Bradberry on Monday. This after trying to trade him but failing to find a team that wanted to take on his hefty contract ($13.4 million base salary).
Bradberry isn’t getting cut because he’s a bad player. It’s more about New York valuing the $10.1 million in cap space they cleared by letting him go. It’s not like Bradberry figured to be a long-term piece for the Giants considering he turns 29 in August and would’ve been a free agent after the 2022 season.
It is true that Bradberry isn’t coming off his strongest year. He allowed a 93.0 passer rating when targeted — his highest mark in four seasons — and missed 21.7% of his tackle attempts. Not great.
Then again, it’s not like many players were excelling on a terrible Giants team last year. And Bradberry was a Pro Bowl cornerback as recently as 2020.
One would expect Bradberry to have a relatively competitive market now that he’s free to sign with any team. The Eagles hardly have the only roster that could afford more help at cornerback.
It’s for this reason that I don’t expect Philly to be the favorite to land Bradberry. The sense here is the Eagles, who rank 22nd in cap space with $10.2 million, aren’t going to break the bank to sign him. If he ends up being more affordable than expected then, sure, maybe it happens. But methinks the Eagles will ultimately be outbid.
Some of my skepticism stemmed from the Eagles really talking up their young group of cornerbacks. It seemed like they wanted to get a look at what those guys could do in camp and had hope one of them would stick.
And perhaps that was truly their plan until a much better alternative such as Bradberry came along.
In any case, the Eagles will be moving forward with Bradberry and Darius Slay as their starting outside cornerbacks in 2022. That’s a pretty good duo! One of the best CB tandems in the NFL ... on paper, at least. Not to mention the presence of Avonte Maddox, who is coming off a career season in the slot.
The Eagles still have some major question marks at safety with Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps as the starters on the back end. But adding Bradberry to the mix certainly improve Philly’s secondary outlook.
The Bradberry signing puts more pressure on Jonathan Gannon to get better results this season. The Eagles arguably underachieved their talent level last year. With the Birds adding the likes of Bradberry, Haason Reddick, Jordan Davis, and Nakobe Dean, well, their defense shouldn’t be as vulnerable as it was at times in 2021.
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