With a complete overhaul of the Las Vegas Raiders‘ defensive coaching staff, there could be major changes to the defensive roster. Players like Maxx Crosby, Trevon Moehrig, Denzel Perryman, Nate Hobbs, Divine Deablo and Yannick Ngakoue are strong pieces to build around but it’s anybody’s guess who will continue being on the roster outside of those six. New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has a vastly different coaching style than Gus Bradley.
The latter was a Cover 3 purist who was rigid in his system. Graham likes blitzing and man coverage much more than Bradley does, and is much more adaptable. Due to his penchant for man coverage, Graham could want to shake up the Raiders’ secondary. Casey Hayward was excellent for the team last season but is a free agent and does his best work in zone coverage. That would mean the Raiders absolutely need a new starting cornerback.
Perhaps there’s a player that Graham is familiar with who could come to Las Vegas. The New York Giants are open to trade offers for cornerback James Bradberry, per NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, Graham could possibly help facilitate a trade for the former Pro Bowler.
“The Raiders found a useful slot corner in rookie fifth-round pick Nate Hobbs, but Hayward was a one-year fill-in and Trayvon Mullen missed most of 2021 with injuries,” Barnwell wrote. “I wonder if new coordinator Patrick Graham might try to convince his new organization to trade for James Bradberry, who could be traded by the Giants.”
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Bradberry Would Be Big Cap Hit
Bradberry is a good cornerback who has 10 interceptions combined over the last three seasons. He played well in the two years he was coached by Graham in New York. He’s a natural fit in the new defense and could be the No. 1 cornerback the Raiders need.
However, he’s not cheap. While top cornerbacks are getting paid around $20 million a year now, the $13.4 million Bradberry is due next season is still a pretty big cap hit. That’s not bad if Graham thinks highly of the cornerback. Bradberry was Pro Football Focus‘ 58th rated cornerback last season so his value could be much less than it was when he signed with the Giants in 2020.
Bradberry’s Trade Price Wouldn’t Be High
The Giants are in a rebuild and need cap space. Trading Bradberry would save $12.14 million in cap space for them. Any team that trades with the Giants will be helping them out. In that case, the Raiders shouldn’t offer much to the team if they want to trade for Bradberry.
He’s a good cornerback but only has one more year on his contract and is coming off a down year. The Raiders shouldn’t offer anything more than a fifth-round pick for Bradberry in a trade. He’s not a super valuable asset that the team needs to make a big offer for. Getting Bradberry on the cheap could actually be a smart move for the new front office and coaching staff to make.