Heading into the offseason, cornerback appeared to be one of the positions the Las Vegas Raiders would pursue the most aggressively. The team was linked to big names like J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore but both of them signed elsewhere. The Raiders did make several additions to the defensive backfield but none of the names were too notable.
Another cornerback who has been linked to the team all offseason has been James Bradberry. The former Pro Bowler has been on the New York Giants’ trade block but they haven’t found any takers. Bradberry played under Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham over the last two seasons so he would be a logical fit in the defense.
With the Giants not finding a trade partner for Bradberry, it’s becoming more and more likely that he’ll be released. If he’s released, he should be a popular name for teams looking for a cornerback. According to NFL insider Benjamin Allbright, the Raiders would be the most likely landing spot for Bradberry if he’s released.
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Bradberry Would Be Great Addition for Raiders
The expected starting cornerbacks for the Raiders this season are Trayvon Mullen and Rock Ya-Sin. Mullen just recently revealed that he had to undergo an unspecified surgery and it remains to be seen how long he’ll be out and if he could miss key training camp practices. Ya-Sin has shown upside but he hasn’t proven to be a shutdown cornerback yet.
Bradberry is 28-years-old, made a Pro Bowl in 2020 and is familiar with Graham’s defense. He’d make perfect sense as an addition. He’s not on the same level as the Jalen Ramseys of the world but he’s a very good player who would be an upgrade on defense. The AFC West is loaded with quarterback and wide receiver talent. The Raiders will need all the pass defense help they can get. Bradberry makes the pass defense better so Las Vegas should aggressively pursue him if he does end up getting released.
Raiders Ignore DBs in Draft
When NFL Draft Weekend finally started up, it seemed likely that the Raiders would target defensive backs. The team still needs a safety and possibly another cornerback. Instead, the focus was on bringing in linemen and running backs. They didn’t draft a single defensive back through all seven rounds.
That could either mean that Graham is comfortable with what he has or he’s waiting to see which free agents become available. Graham could very well be banking on Bradberry getting cut. Tyrann Mathieu was linked to the Raiders for weeks but he decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints. There have been a lot of defensive backs linked to the Raiders this offseason who haven’t ended up with the team. Perhaps Graham and company are much higher on the pieces the team has than we realize. Graham is one of the most respected defensive minds in the NFL right now so fans will just have to trust that he has a plan in place.