Bills Rumors: Trade Proposal Sends Former 2nd-Round Pick for Giants CB

James Bradberry, AJ Epenesa

Getty Trade proposal suggests the Buffalo Bills exchange former 2020 second-round pick, A.J. Epenesa (R), to land Giants Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry (L).

Each day that passes in which the New York Giants are unable to trade elite cornerback James Bradberry, the higher the chances are that the Buffalo Bills land the Pro Bowler at a hefty discount.

ESPN’s Jordan Shaan’s initially reported on March 24 that the cash-strapped Giants were in desperation mode. He wrote, “Bradberry is a candidate to be traded because of an untenable $21.9 million cap hit. Another quality player soon to be gone.

“The Giants are so desperate to get something in return for the Pro Bowl cornerback they are willing to eat some of his $13.5 million salary in a trade, a league source told ESPN.”

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On March 28, SNY‘s Ralph Vacchiano confirmed that Bradberry has no future with the Giants and that team is looking to make a trade prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. On Saturday, April 2, Cover 1 host Greg Thompsett suggested a trade proposal that could ultimately land Bradberry in Buffalo, while also clearing room for a veteran defensive end to be re-signed.

Thompsett tweeted, “Ok… hear me out… [Bills general manager] Brandon Beane trades AJ Epenesa to NYG for James Bradberry… and then just re-signs Jerry Hughes.”

Epenesa, whom the Bills drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, is entering the third year of his four-year, $5,877,299 rookie contract and has a cap hit of $1.6 million for the 2022 NFL season, per Spotrac.com. During his two years in Buffalo, the 23-year-old defensive end has recorded 2.5 sacks, 19 solo tackles, and 13 quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Reference.

As for Hughes, who turns 34 in August, the former first-round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft remains a free agent. The TCU alum has played in Buffalo for nearly a decade, and Bills Mafia would love to see the veteran defensive come back, especially after the team signed eight-time Pro Bowler Von Miller, a move which signaled the team is going all-in for a Super Bowl or bust type of season.

In order for the Bills to make everything fit under the salary cap, “They’d need to create a small amount of space through restructures… but not a ton,” Thompsett noted. However, the big question is how much would the Giants would be willing to knock off Bradberry’s contract.

Giants Wire’s Dan Benton noted, “The team would eat $11.28 million in dead space if  Bradberry were designated a pre-June 1 release and get nothing in return, so there’s at least some financial wiggle room here,” depending on they can get in return.


The Giants GM & Head Coach are Already Familiar With Epenesa

While Vacchiano doesn’t specifically name the Bills as one of the teams that have called the Giants about Bradberry, it’s important to remember who’s running the Giants squad — Bills’ former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is their new head coach, and former Buffalo executive Joe Schoen is their general manager.

Schoen was part of the Bills’ top brass when they initially drafted Epenesa out of Iowa, so there’s likely already an interest in bringing yet another familiar face to the Meadowlands.

If the Giants can’t exchange Bradberry for at least a 2022 third-round draft pick, for which “no one was willing to pay that when the Giants hopped him before the free-agent market opened,” Vacchiano reported, then trading for a promising young defensive end could be one of the best offers the NFC East franchise receives.


Adding a CB Remains Buffalo’s Most Pressing Matter

If it feels like the Bills’ need for a cornerback is discussed ad nauseam, it’s because this is a true weak spot.

ESPN‘s Alaina Getzenberg reported on March 24, “After letting Levi Wallace leave for the Steelers, Buffalo does not have a clear No. 2 corner behind Tre’Davious White, who is recovering from a torn ACL. Dane Jackson, entering his third season, was solid filling in for White last year, but he should have competition for that starting role.

“Adding to the position through the draft and with a veteran free agent would be wise for what is shaping up to be a top defense yet again.”

While the 2021 NFL season was not great for the Giants, finishing in last place in the NFC East with a 4-12 record, Bradberry still managed to record four interceptions. The 28-year-old Samford alum has notched 16 career interceptions since he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

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