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NFL free agency 2020: Should cornerback James Bradberry be a Giants’ target?

The Giants could use an experienced, talented cornerback

Buffalo Bills v Carolina Panthers
James Bradberry
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The New York Giants have invested heavily in the cornerback position in recent years. The plethora of draft picks they used at the spot a year ago has left them with a talented, but extremely young nucleus at the position.

Could a player like James Bradberry, a four-year starter for the Carolina Panthers, help the Giants. Bradberry is headed to the open market when free agency begins in March.

The basics

Age: 27 during 2020 season
Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 212
Position: Cornerback
Experience: 4 seasons
2019 stats: Games played: 15 | Snaps: 1,020 | Tackles: 65 | Interceptions: 3 | Passes defensed: 12
2019 base salary: $940,000 | 2019 cap hit: $1.26 million

Pro Football Focus: Overall grade: 59.8 | Run defense: 37.7 | Pass coverage: 63.3 | Passer rating against: 80.3 (49 receptions allowed in 82 targets — 59.8 percent)

The skinny

Bradley Smith of SB Nation’s Panthers website, Cat Scratch Reader, on Bradberry:

James Bradberry is one of those ‘quietly good’ corners who is underrated because most people don’t notice him. He didn’t jump out on the stat sheet in 2019 (he only had three interceptions and 12 passes defensed), but he was pretty good at locking down opposing receivers (Mike Evans logged 13 catches for 157 yards in two games against him, for example). He’s Carolina’s best cornerback (even if that’s not saying much, he’s good enough to be a No. 1 corner on most NFL teams) and they should do everything they can to sign him to an extension. With a potential rebuild coming under new head coach Matt Rhule, I’m not sure which direction the team is going, but if they’re smart they’ll sign Bradberry to a four or five-year contract in the neighborhood of $13-15 million AAV. There’s also a chance they use a franchise tag on him if they can’t work out a long-term deal to give Rhule a chance to evaluate whether or not he wants to include him in the team’s long-term plans.”

Bradberry’s awful run grade of 37.7 might be a red flag. It also might be an aberration as his previous low run grade in his first three seasons was 59.2. Bradberry did finish middle of the pack in tackling efficiency, missing one tackle every 8.9 attempts — 35th out of 72 qualifying cornerbacks.

Bradberry might not be a true No. 1 shutdown corner. He is, though, a good player young enough to have good years in front of him at a position where the Giants can use both experience and a talent upgrade. Bradberry was also a 2016 second-round pick by Dave Gettleman when he was GM of the Carolina Panthers, a factor that should never be overlooked.

Your thoughts, Giants fans? Is Bradberry a player you would like to see the Giants pursue this offseason?