Veteran cornerback James Bradberry has been at the center of trade rumors for much of the offseason. With the New York Giants unable to find a trade suitor, the team decided to cut him outright. The Las Vegas Raiders have been linked to Bradberry this offseason due to the hiring of Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator, who coached the cornerback over the past two seasons.
The team didn’t appear to have interest in a trade but they should have interest now that he’s on the open market. Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently reported that the Raiders were “expected to be players” for Bradberry. Eddie Borsilli of SiriusXM NFL Radio is now reporting that the team has already reached out to the 2020 Pro Bowler. Borsilli also noted that nothing is “imminent” as Bradberry is expected to draw a lot of interest.
It’s not often that a 28-year-old cornerback who is a year removed from making the Pro Bowl hits free agency after the draft is over. There will be a number of teams vying for his services.
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Raiders Will Have to Hope That Bradberry Is Patient
Bradberry makes perfect sense for the Raiders. The team didn’t spend big money on any cornerbacks this offseason and avoided the position in the draft. He clearly knows Graham’s defense and has had success in that scheme. It’s entirely possible that the Raiders didn’t push harder to sign Stephon Gilmore or J.C. Jackson due to the fact that they anticipated that they could get Bradberry on a discount.
However, the team isn’t exactly in a position to sign him right now. The Raiders have almost no salary cap space right now so the only way to lure Bradberry over would be to offer him a big signing bonus. That’s not really the team’s style under owner Mark Davis. Once June 2 arrives, about $20 million in cap space opens up as Cory Littleton and Carl Nassib’s contracts come off the books. That would give the Raiders the money to afford Bradberry. They just have to hope that no other team swoops up and signs him before they get a real chance.
Bradberry Was Almost Traded to Texans
The Raiders almost never even got the chance to land Bradberry. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, the Houston Texans had an agreement with the Giants to trade for Bradberry but the cornerback wouldn’t change his contract:
Schoen neglected to offer any details on the trade partners, but a source said the Giants had agreed to a deal with the Texans, believed to be for a late-round draft pick. But Bradberry and the Texans couldn’t agree on contract terms, so the deal was quashed. The Giants were willing to pay some of Bradberry’s salary to accommodate a trade, but they would have wanted a better pick in return, so there was never a middle ground that was acceptable for all parties.
There’s no reason why Bradberry should’ve helped facilitate the deal to the Texans. They have one of the worst teams in the NFL. He now gets to pick his team. The Raiders should be appealing as they’ve put together a strong offseason and could be serious contenders in the AFC.