Analyst Names Eagles’ $38 Million Star a Potential Cut Candidate

James Bradberry

Getty Eagles cornerback James Bradberry could be a cut candidate.

The Philadelphia Eagles could benefit from moving on from one of their key veteran starters.

As suggested by Pro Football Network’s Tony Catalina, cornerback James Bradberry could be a post-June 1 cut or trade candidate. The 30-year-old cornerback is coming off a dismal 2023 season, capped off by a bad performance in the Eagles’ playoff loss. Bradberry allowed five receptions for 108 yards, a touchdown, four first downs and 21.6 yards per reception in Philadelphia’s 32-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their playoff game.

Catalina’s argument is simple — the Eagles can save lots of money by designating Bradberry as a post-June 1 cut and they already have his replacements on the roster after using their first two draft picks on cornerbacks Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean.

“Add in the fact that Bradberry has a $15.1 million dead cap hit for 2024, and the Eagles may opt to cut him post-June 1, which would lower that number to $4.3 million,” Catalina wrote. “The difference of over $10 million in relief for a veteran who did not perform to their customary standard may be in the works after looking at the Eagles’ recent draft strategy.”

Bradberry is currently signed to a three-year, $38 million deal with $20 million guaranteed. However, as David Neisz of Philly Sports Network points out, Bradberry is really only going to see the $20 million guaranteed, most of which are deferred in future void years.

“The 4 void years are 2026–2029, but the bonuses start in 2025. 5 years of equal bonus payouts of $3.319M which totals $16.5M,” Neisz wrote. “Add up his $3.5M from his 3 base salaries, and the $16.5M in bonuses, you get the sum of his $20M guaranteed money. Aside from some workout bonuses of $150K a year for the 3 seasons, he is never seeing the other $18M of that $38M contract.”

Why Eagles Could Move on From James Bradberry

The Eagles could go either way as it pertains to retaining or moving on from Bradberry. The former All-Pro cornerback is coming off of arguably his worst season after posting a superb debut season with the Eagles in 2022.

According to Pro Football Focus, Bradberry posted a 74.1 defensive grade (the second-best mark of his career) and 80.2 grade (career high) in coverage during the 2022 season. During the 2023 season, those grades declined drastically as Bradberry posted a career-low 56.6 defensive grade and 54.7 grade in coverage.

The fact that Philadelphia spent their first two draft picks of the 2024 NFL draft on cornerbacks all but indicates that Bradberry’s time with the Eagles is almost over. The question is when exactly is it?

Philadelphia could choose to retain the veteran Bradberry entering the 2024 season and hope that he rebounds and plays the way he did during his first season with the Eagles. Or they could simply cut ties with him after June 1 and go with Mitchell or DeJean as one of the starters opposite of Darius Slay.

James Bradberry in ‘Good Spirits’ Despite Questionable Future

Despite his questionable future, Bradberry isn’t sweating his future, according to Slay.

Via Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports:

“I talk to Bradberry all the time. He in good spirits,” Slay said on May 22 at the NovaCare Complex during OTAs. “JB, what he going on year nine? Yea, he be good. He made a lot of money, played good, All-Pro, Pro Bowl player. We had talks. He in good spirits.”

We’ll see what the Eagles decide to do with Bradberry before training camp starts. If they decide to move on from the veteran, they have no shortage of options when it comes to potential replacements.

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