The Buffalo Bills deserve applause for how they’ve managed free agency, masterfully restructuring several veteran contracts in order to add depth to several key positions on both offense and defense. However, there’s one area for which the Bills have not addressed, signing another cornerback.
Financially speaking, at this point, it seemed Buffalo’s best option would be to select a young, up-and-coming defensive stud with their first-round pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
But that might’ve changed following ESPN’s Jordan Shaan’s new report on March 24, in which he mentioned that the cash-strapped New York Giants are now willing to offer one of the top cornerbacks still available in free agency at a discount, James Bradberry.
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Shaan wrote, “James 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.”
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 if it means receiving a draft pick in return.”
Because the Giants’ top brass is filled with former Bills’ staff, such as general manager Joe Shoen and head coach Brian Daboll, they may be open to cutting a fair deal with Bills general manager Brandon Beane.
If Beane has proved anything this offseason, it’s that he’s a mastermind in making deals happen even when there doesn’t appear to be enough money to make them work (Ahem, Von Miller). A discounted price tag and a third or fourth-round pick could make landing Bradberry feasible.
The Giants are ‘Desperate’
It’s better to get something than nothing, and based on how The Athletic’s Dan Duggan described the Giants situation on Friday, noting how there have been no extension talks to lower Bradberry’s cap hit for the 2022 season. Duggan wrote:
If the Giants trade Bradberry without taking any of the salary off the acquiring team’s hands, they’ll create $12.1 million in cap savings. They’d gain $10.1 million in cap savings if they cut him because $2 million of his salary became guaranteed when the new league year began on March 16 (the Giants would recoup that $2 million on the 2023 cap after Bradberry signs elsewhere due to offset language in his contract).
The obstacle for Schoen is finding a team willing to part with a draft pick when it’s clear the Giants need the cap savings from dumping Bradberry. The Giants have roughly $2 million in cap space. They need $12.5 million to cover their draft class, so something has to give.
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.
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 on a team that’s going all-in for a Super Bowl or bust type of season.
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.”