Two years after signing him to a $45 million contract as one of the top cornerbacks in free agency, the Giants announced Monday that they have released James Bradberry. Long speculated as a potential trade candidate this offseason due to his pricey deal on a financially tight team, the former Pro Bowler generated some interest from other teams, general manager Joe Schoen indicated recently, but not at his current price tag. Now Bradberry is poised to find a new home via the open market.
Which teams will come calling? Here are seven logical landing spots for the veteran cover man:
They spent an early pick on Clemson's Andrew Booth Jr., but pairing Bradberry with Patrick Peterson would take pressure off both Booth and Cameron Dantzler on the outside, giving Minnesota's restocked defense two rock-solid cover men for Kevin O'Connell's first year running the show.
In Rashad Fenton and L'Jarius Sneed, Kansas City already has a pair of projected starting corners. But with Charvarius Ward now in San Francisco, it's no wonder the Chiefs were reportedly engaged in trade talks for Bradberry before the veteran's release. Along with former Texans safety Justin Reid, he'd give them another veteran presence for their next playoff run.
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.
They've added two underrated veterans at corner in Anthony Averett and Rock Ya-Sin, but in that division, you can never have enough help in the secondary. More than that, Bradberry has a history with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who helped land the corner as the Giants' assistant head coach in 2020 and oversaw the veteran's first Pro Bowl nod.
New England warrants consideration solely for its tendency to take flyers on big-name castoffs. Also, even after spending a fourth-rounder on Arizona State's Jack Jones, they could use more upside at cornerback, where they lost J.C. Jackson in free agency. Bradberry, even coming off a down year, would represent an upgrade on Jalen Mills and/or Malcolm Butler.
They alleviated some concerns about corner by spending a first-rounder on Florida's Kaiir Elam, who should pair nicely with All-Pro Tre'Davious White. But Bradberry would take pressure off Elam to be a stud starter out of the gate, especially as the Bills look to win now. Coach Sean McDermott was Bradberry's defensive coordinator in Carolina when the Panthers drafted him, and the veteran's other former Panthers DC, Eric Washington, currently serves as the Bills' senior defensive assistant.
All the dots connect. 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.