In a move that would have seemed unfathomable just a few weeks ago, James Bradberry’s tenure in East Rutherford could soon be coming to an end. While it may remain a bit of a longshot, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano has named the reigning Pro Bowler a candidate to be traded at the November 2nd deadline with the Giants potentially entering firesale mode.
“Dealing him would’ve been unthinkable a year ago when he was a Pro-Bowler and one of the Giants’ two best players,” wrote Vacchiano. “But his fall-off this season has been dramatic. Plus, the cap-strapped Giants can’t ignore that dealing him would clear about $12 million in salary cap space for next offseason.”
Bradberry is in the second season of a three-year, $43.5 million contract which he inked two offseasons ago. He was selected to his first career Pro Bowl in 2020, flashing lockdown potential on the boundary. However, he’s taken a sizeable step backward this season. Through the first six weeks of 2021, Bradberry has surrendered the sixth-most passing yards among NFL defenders (368). Of the seven players to allow at least 332 passing yards in coverage this season, only Bradberry has allowed a completion percentage above 69.8% — he checks in at 72.5% (a career-worst).
“They’d be left a little thin at corner with Adoree’ Jackson and a lot of question marks, but that might be a risk worth taking,” noted Vacchiano. “Bradberry’s value could be pretty high, too, considering he’s only due about $1.1 million in salary the rest of this season and a non-guaranteed $13.4 million for next year. A second-day pick in return isn’t out of the question.”
“[Cornerback] [L’Jarius] Sneed has been playing nearly every snap, but he has regressed significantly in terms of completion percentage (66.7 percent), passer rating (132.1) and touchdowns (three) allowed. He also has yet to secure a single interception this year,” wrote Kay. “Bringing in Bradberry would give Kansas City a more proven cornerback, which the organization may need to get back to the Super Bowl for a third straight year.”
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No Time to Wait?
The man opposite Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, hasn’t been all that great this season either. However, he has allowed 9.3% fewer completions than Bradberry in his 38 targets (just two fewer than Bradberry). Furthermore, Bradberry will be 29 years old at the start of next season, two years the senior of Jackson. With Bradberry inching towards the big 3-0 and the Giants looking far away from legitimate contention, it may be best to pull the trigger on a deal while they can still receive a favorable haul in return.
They don’t have to look too far for a cautionary tale of what happens when you wait too long to act.
Safety Jabrill Peppers was rumored to be a trade candidate this offseason. Ultimately, New York opted to stick with the former first-rounder, even though they’d known his role would be diminishing with a healthy Xavier McKinney at their disposal. Peppers’ defensive snaps have decreased by 27% this season. With his dip in usage has come more uneven play, and in return, a decreased trade value.
In the midst of a contract year, Peppers is unlikely to return to New York next season and if he is dealt prior to the deadline, chances are the Giants would be lucky to yield a future sixth-round pick in return.