The Buffalo Bills are in need of some help in the secondary, but may have decided to bow out of the race for a $43.5 million cornerback reportedly on the trade block.
The Bills have had a busy offseason adding to their defensive line, adding three new key players including edge rusher Von Miller. But they have yet to add any new members of the secondary, despite losing cornerback Levi Wallace to the Pittsburgh Steelers and facing the prospect of up to half of the season without All Pro Tre’Davious White, who is rehabbing a torn ACL and meniscus injury. There had been reports that the Bills were in the running to land New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry, but that opportunity may now have passed.
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Bradberry on the Trade Block
As SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reported, the Giants have come to the realization that they have no future with Bradberry and are working to have a trade in place before May’s NFL Draft. Trading Bradberry would clear a little more than $12 million in cap space for the Giants, room that would be critically needed in order to sign their draft class and fill out the practice squad and mid-season replacements.
But Vacchiano did not list the Bills among the teams actively seeking to land Bradberry. The Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and Houston Texans were named as suitors who have reached out to the Giants to inquire about Bradberry.
The Bills could potentially jump back into the running, as Vacchiano noted that the Giants may need to revisit their asking price.
“They had been hoping for a package that included a third-round pick in this year’s draft, a source said, but no one was willing to pay that when the Giants shopped him before the free agent market opened,” he wrote. “They have since signaled to teams that they are willing to pick up some of Bradberry’s $13.4 million salary if teams are willing to offer the right package of picks in return.”
The Bills do have a strong connection with the Giants now, as New York hired former Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen as their general manager. Schoen has already signed a number of former Bills players, including backup quarterback Davis Webb.
Bills to Address Cornerback Needs
As Nick Fierro of SI.com’s Bills Central noted, the team has conspicuously avoided the secondary since the start of free agency, hinting that the team could use several of their top picks on cornerbacks.
“Last year, the Bills used their first two picks in the draft on defensive ends. One of them, Greg Rousseau, became an instant starter,” he wrote.
“It would come as no surprise if they repeated that pattern at cornerback this year, because this year’s draft is believed to be particularly fertile in that area, with potential value picks galore in every round.”
Fierro noted that the Bills could still look for some veteran depth through free agency, and a trade for Bradford remains an option, especially if the Giants are willing to lower their asking price.