Before the start of NFL Free Agency, I will attempt to break down as many of the Eagles’ free agents as possible. Each article will include stats, the player’s strengths and weaknesses, and my overall thoughts on whether the player should be re-signed or not. All rankings only include players with at least 20% of the snaps this year. All statistics are via Pro Football Focus unless mentioned otherwise! PREVIOUSLY: Javon Hargrave breakdown.
The numbers are outstanding. Being ranked 1st in terms of QB rating when targeted is an elite statistic that Bradberry’s agent will certainly be using in contract discussions! However, it is important that Bradberry benefitted from a scheme that helps out its cornerbacks and a pass rush that allowed him to be aggressive.
+ Very good understanding of an offense’s play call and can read receivers’ routes well
#2 I love this. Giants kept motioning to empty which means the ball has to come out quick. Bradberry sees the RB and knows he can jump the route and be aggressive because he predicts the quick throw. It's fantastic anticipation from a veteran. pic.twitter.com/Nmn9S08pu0— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 24, 2023
This is fantastic by Bradberry (who was so good overall) but also the whole defense. Cowboys change the play and you can see the Eagles communicating quickly to change up what they are doing too. This is a sign of a good defense! pic.twitter.com/QQNVVu6JmQ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 18, 2022
+ Elite in zone coverage. Has such a good feel for when to pass off his receiver and come down on the next receiver. This is his elite talent.
Eagles bring a heavy blitz here but it's a bit of a disaster and if T-Law checks it down it's probably a TD. Instead he tries to hit the wheel on a post/wheel concept but Bradberry's depth and route recognition is perfect and he makes a huge play. This is big time. pic.twitter.com/f3wp4mnim0— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 4, 2022
It's basically a Bradberry film thread now. Cowboys call a classic Hi-Lo concept. Bradberry starts breaking on the short route so Rush throws it, but Bradberry has the awareness to recognize the corner route and quickly gets back to take away the throw. Just really good CB play. pic.twitter.com/qCjiAvptyK— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 18, 2022
+ Fantastic route recognition and has excellent click-and-close speed to break up/intercept many intermediate routes
The first INT is bad by Rush who is late to the throw, but Bradberry's route recognition and ability to jump the route quickly is exceptional. Bradberry and Slay both do this SO well. pic.twitter.com/mJgXXApqj4— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 18, 2022
+ Is not strictly a zone corner and can line up and play man coverage on the outside.
How good has James Bradberry been this year? Seriously, the guy is playing absolutely lights out. You cannot play this any better. He runs the comeback route! pic.twitter.com/2RZG3Neyig— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 6, 2022
+ Usually very good at being physical down the field without giving away penalties
James Bradberry was outstanding again too, what a brilliant signing he has been. Last year he excelled in zone but his man coverage has been great this year too. Here he lockdowns the outside WR, he has a great knack for turning around late to avoid getting called for PI. pic.twitter.com/M1kWISf6fw— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2022
+ May not be a tackling machine, but does his job when asked to set the edge the majority of the time. Understands his role in run defense, even if he does not always make the actual tackle.
No Jordan Davis and a 4man front, but the Eagles run defense was really good. Watch Bradberry come up and set the edge and Reddick/White/Cox all do a great job getting off blocks. The whole team showed far better gap discipline this week. It's way too basic to just credit Davis. pic.twitter.com/Few84NgTfj— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) September 21, 2022
+ Has a really good grasp of the Eagles’ scheme this past year. You rarely saw busted coverages around him. If the scheme remains very similar he will fit perfectly.
#11 The play before the INT, fantastic zone match play. The communication is fantastic. Watch Bradberry call the 'under' and White pick up the drag. The weak safety comes across to help with the 3 WR side. It's great coverage that results in another sack! pic.twitter.com/xD4BEZlej4— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 3, 2023
+ Wasn’t asked to do it much in this scheme, but he can press receivers at the line of scrimmage, especially in the red zone
Bradberry's not just a zone corner either, here he does a great job pressing the WR to the sideline and making it pretty much impossible to catch. Check out CGJ in the slot pressing here too - this is the advantage of having two safeties who can cover. pic.twitter.com/2kLSTXDtbi— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 18, 2022
- Played behind an elite pass rush which enabled him to be aggressive and coverage and covered for some mistakes in man coverage
#2 Reddick saves a big completion here. Bradberry had a tough game against Aiyuk who beat him quite a few times. Luckily, the Eagles pass rush dominated the 49ers so it didn't matter a great deal. Reddick vs. a tight end is only ever going to end one way... pic.twitter.com/RrPGTSlO32— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 31, 2023
#8 As I mentioned earlier, Bradberry had a tough game. This is a heck of a route & Kittle beats him pretty well. I expect the Chiefs to target Bradberry in single coverage by putting trips on the other side. Expect to see some Kelce vs. Bradberry in a couple of weeks... pic.twitter.com/X0e08NXfaB— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 31, 2023
Eagles ran invert cover 3 with Scott becoming the single-high safety and Bradberry actually got burned by a double move. Luckily, the Eagles CBs can afford to be aggressive because they have the luxury of playing behind this pass rush. A great rush from Reddick saves a big play. pic.twitter.com/2o340dvvWq— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 14, 2022
- Played worse as the season went on. Made a few too many mistakes in coverage over the second half of the season. A clear example of this is in the last 4 weeks of the season he allowed a QB rating when targeted of 96, 79, 118, and 83. This averages 94, which is a lot higher than his season average.
#15 This also feels like a mental error from Bradberry. He's playing outside leverage despite having a safety inside and it ends up being an easy TD for Lamb. The idea Lamb only beat Scott is ridiculous and a lot of his success came from errors from the Eagles secondary. pic.twitter.com/xREjssrRpC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 27, 2022
#8 Eagles run a cover 3 invert and Bradberry just gets burned. It happens to every CB at times. Huge credit to him for making the tackle though - it ends up saving the Eagles 4 points. He's not been as sharp in recent weeks though. pic.twitter.com/IjDohGsN5q— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) January 3, 2023
- I might be harsh putting this here, but he held on the biggest stage of the year when this was the worst thing he could have done. Giving up a touchdown would have been better
#16 The Eagles pass rush did win when they got the Chiefs into 3rd & long. This was one of the only dime snaps they could play & they doubled Kelce which I loved. Bradberry just gets beat and does hold a little. I can't moan about the call. You just needed him to win on this rep pic.twitter.com/ITmdt8yyID— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) February 14, 2023
- Is not good enough as a run defender. Has weeks where he brings it and looks motivated but has other weeks where he is not good enough and doesn’t fight to get off blocks and get to the running back
#6 It's a very bad sign when your 2 LBs are unblocked and can't get near the ball. Either Hargrave takes the wrong gap or TJ Edwards does (I'd assume TJ) but someone screws up. Gonna be honest, the difference between the Chiefs CBs and Bradberry in this game was massive too. pic.twitter.com/via5QH1m73— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) February 14, 2023
The worst run of the game happened when the Eagles went 4-2. The Colts played 3 WRs to 1 side which left Bradberry over the TE. Bradberry/Slay are fantastic but cannot be responsible for gaps in the run game as it's not their strength at all. pic.twitter.com/236wiqeBs7— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 23, 2022
The TD run was the worst play by the defense. Cox gets moved badly, Maddox is coming across the formation but gets lost, Wallace takes an awful angle and Bradberry gets run by far too easily. pic.twitter.com/dNmYculJVt— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) October 18, 2022
I am conflicted about Bradberry. His numbers are elite. I have seen others rank him as the number 1 priority for the Eagles this offseason, but I think I would rank him behind Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Hargrave, and maybe even TJ Edwards. I just don’t really see how the Eagles will be able to bring back Bradberry this year and afford other key players.
Bradberry’s numbers are elite this year, but I think some of that has to do with how much protection the outside cornerbacks had in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. As well as that, the pass rush made it easier for all of the Eagles' secondary as quarterbacks didn’t have time to sit in the pocket. The last few weeks of the season, I watched Bradberry get beat quite a few times the last few weeks of the season but the pass rush helped to protect. I know not everyone will agree with me, but I still think Darius Slay is the better cornerback of the two. I also think the Eagles really need to look at their run defense this year. Slay is not a physical cornerback and it might be a better balance to have a young physical CB2 who wants to come downhill and tackle.
Spotrac has projected Bradberry to receive a three-year, $45 million contract, which would rank 10th amongst cornerbacks. Darius Slay already has a $26.1 million cap number this year which is very high. I can’t see the Eagles paying 2 cornerbacks a top-10 amount. I don’t think it’s feasible, or the best way to build your defense. Gannon was quite static with his cornerbacks, but the next defensive coordinator could use Slay to follow other teams' best receivers or want his cornerbacks to be able to move to the slot more. We just don’t know yet.
I think Bradberry had a fantastic year, but I would have to pass and prioritize other free agents, such as CGJ and Hargrave at this point. If the price on Hargrave and CGJ gets too high, I would consider paying Bradberry.
Should they re-sign = No (down to money, not play on the field).
Should the Eagles re-sign James Bradberry?
This poll is closed