The NFL league year has begun, the New York Giants are — barely — under the league-mandated $208.2 million salary cap, and cornerback James Bradberry is still a Giant. At least for now.
Being on the roster as of 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday means that $2 million of his $13.4 million base salary is now fully guaranteed.
Bradberry, 29, has been the subject of a great deal of speculation as the Giants, even though they are under the cap, remain strapped financially. Bradberry carries a 2022 cap hit of $21.863 million. They can save $12.136 million against the cap, while still incurring $9.727 million in dead money, by trading or cutting him prior to June 1. As a post-June 1 cut/trade the Giants could save $13.5 million against the cap with an $8.363 million dead money hit.
Bradberry signed a three-year, $43.5 million contract with the Giants that included $29.8 million in fully guaranteed money prior to the 2020 season.
The 28-year-old, a second-round pick by Dave Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers in 2016, had two excellent seasons for the Giants. In 2020, he was named to the Pro Bowl after compiling a career-best 18 pass breakups to go with three interceptions and two forced fumbles. In 2021, he had four interceptions and 14 pass breakups.
The Giants have already cut tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith, running back Devontae Booker and punter Riley Dixon, while linebacker Blake Martinez and wide receiver Sterling Shepard took large pay cuts to remain with the team.
Those moves helped them find room to sign offensive linemen Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano, quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Robert Foster.
The Giants are still projected to need more than $12 million to sign their rookie class, and are still roughly $15 million. They will also need salary cap space for additional acquisitions and protection against in-season injuries.
Bradberry remains the biggest card they could play in order to create some of that salary cap space they need.
[NOTE: I will update when Over The Cap updates salary cap information with the Martinez and Shepard pay cuts.]