Could Eagles, Commanders pursue James Bradberry if released by Giants?

The New York Giants have painted themselves into a corner when it comes to options on star cornerback James Bradberry.

The Giants would ideally like to keep Bradberry but his salary cap hit of $21.8 million is weighing the team down and preventing them from meeting other cap requirements.

Unable to find a trade partner before, during and after the 2022 NFL draft that would take on Bradberry’s salary, general manager Joe Schoen will likely now release the veteran to free up the salary cap space to sign his incoming draft class.

So, what happens if the Giants release Bradberry? Firstly, they will realize approximately $11.5 million in cap space. Secondly, they will be down a Pro Bowl-caliber corner and immediately be weaker in the secondary.

Lastly, they could end up losing Bradberry to a division rival, most notably the Washington Commanders or the Philadelphia Eagles.

“All the dots connect,” CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin writes about the Commanders possibly signing Bradberry as a free agent. “Coach Ron Rivera was running the show in Carolina when the Panthers drafted him back in 2016, and his departure coincided with Bradberry’s. Plenty of other ex-Rivera staffers now reside in D.C., including Bradberry’s former secondary assistant Richard Rodgers. He wouldn’t have to move far, and would get to face New York twice a year. Washington, meanwhile, could use another proven veteran at corner, where William Jackson III struggled in 2021 and the depth behind fellow starter Kendall Fuller leaves a lot to be desired.”

Benjamin also sees the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders as possible destinations. The Giants could live with any of those teams signing Bradberry but not Washington and certainly not the Eagles, who Benjamin also lists as a destination.

“Fresh off a dazzling draft that saw them bolster two levels of the defense with Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, the Eagles could now be looking at the one position of need they’ve yet to address. With stopgap Steven Nelson gone, Bradberry could be an even better plug-and-play outside starter opposite Darius Slay, giving youngsters like Zech McPhearson more time to grow. On a short-term deal, he’d get the chance to rebuild his market while playing the Giants twice a year,” he wrote.

It’s a shame that the situation has come to this but it is one of the many that former general manager Dave Gentleman and his minions left Schoen with this year.