After the Las Vegas Raiders struck out on signing Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson, it was speculated that they were banking on a different Pro Bowl cornerback. The New York Giants were trying to trade James Bradberry but had to release him after they couldn’t find a suitor. The Raiders were quickly linked to the cornerback thanks to defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who coached Bradberry over the last two seasons.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, they have limited salary cap space and couldn’t make a serious offer to the cornerback until after June 1 when about $20 million opens up. Bradberry decided not to wait and signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles worth $10 million, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Bradberry gets to team up with fellow Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay and the two should form one of the better duos in the NFL. $10 million is a nice payday for the veteran cornerback after getting unceremoniously cut by the Giants. He’ll now get to play his former team twice a year.
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Where This Leaves the Raiders
There were multiple reports linking the Raiders to Bradberry before and after his release so the team did have an interest in possibly signing. This is another disappointing development for the team as they’ve yet to find a proven commodity at cornerback. Trayvon Mullen, Rock Ya-Sin,
Anthony Averett and Darius Phillips all have starting experience and will compete for the two outside starting cornerback spots.
Nate Hobbs impressed as a slot cornerback last season and should retain the position this season but it’s also possible that the Raiders consider starting him on the outside. The position group is still a bit of concern as nobody has proven to have the upside of a Gilmore or Bradberry. Las Vegas must be comfortable with what they have considering they haven’t made a harder push to sign another cornerback. With the AFC West having some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, the Raiders’ cornerbacks will be tested quite often.
Are There Any More CBs on the Market Raiders Could Sign?
At this point, there aren’t many great options available to the Raiders at cornerback. The best players have mostly been signed. That said, there are some older guys the team could bring in for one season. Richard Sherman is one of the best cornerbacks ever but is 34-years-old. He spent last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but is known to be a big fan of the city of Las Vegas. Perhaps spending one season in the city would be fun for him. He’s passed his prime but brings leadership and a lot of intelligence to the position.
Joe Haden is another aging cornerback with a Pro Bowl pedigree. Similar to Sherman, Haden is a smart player who will provide plenty of leadership. He might not compete for a starting spot at this point in his career but he can still make plays. As training camp nears, it could be wise for the Raiders to bring in a veteran.
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