The Giants were always expected to try and find an experienced free agent cornerback, and Bradberry, who will be 27 next season, always seemed like a logical target. He was a second-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2016 — when current Giants GM Dave Gettleman was GM there.
Here is what Bradley Smith of SB Nation’s Carolina Panthers site Cat Scratch Reader told me recently about 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).”
Pro Football Focus ranked Bradberry as its No. 67 free agent and didn’t seem sure a big investment in his was a wise idea, calling him a “buyer beware” free agent.
The Giants, after cutting ties with Janoris Jenkins near the end of the 2019 season, needed to add a veteran cornerback to a group that features. youngsters DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Grant Haley and perhaps Julian Love if the Giants move him back to cornerback.
Byron Jones, another cornerback thought to be on the Giants’ radar, is reportedly signing a deal with the Miami Dolphins for $17 million annually. That would make him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history.
The three-year deal is friendly for both sides. While the Giants are committing heavy upfront money, they aren’t tied to Bradberry for an extended period of time. From the player’s side, he could hit free agency again before he turns 30 and a time when revenues should have gone up because of a new TV deal.
In other news, former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones signed with the Miami Dolphins. Jones was considered a target for both the Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. His contract is believed to be worth $17 million annually, most ever for a cornerback. Per Adam Schefter, Jones is getting a five-year, $82.5 million deal with $57 million guaranteed. By comparison, Bradberry is a bargain.
James Bradberry vs. Byron Jones 2019 stats:— Justin Penik (@JustinPenik) March 16, 2020
64 targets, 34 COMP
395 yards allowed
87.7 QB rating allowed
97 targets, 58 COMP
644 yards allowed
70.1 QB rating allowed
What grade would you give the Giants’ signing of James Bradberry?
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