The Giants must make a decision from James Bradberry

Brother, can you spare a dime?

The Giants aren’t singing that tune just yet as they get closer and closer to finding that one General manager Joe Schoen wants to create about 40 million dollars ahead of the start of the new league year on Wednesday. But they might start humming a few bars while making the moves they need to get into NFL Free Agency with at least some cash to bag some bargains.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly where the Giants stand, but it appears that Schoen managed to shave nearly $25 million off the 2022 salary cap. This number was helped together by the Wide receiver Sterling Shepard’s pay cuts and Linebacker Blake Martinez. Combined, that saved about $12 million from the cap.

The Giants could pull their cap’s biggest bite of all if they trade cornerback James Bradberry, a move that would free up $12.1 million in cap space — and cost the team the services of their top defenseman in cover. If the Giants can get a mid-round draft pick for Bradberry, a deal likely makes sense as he enters the final year of the three-year, $43.5 million contract he signed as a free agent in 2020. Bradberry, 28, has not lost a step and would be an extremely valuable addition to a competitive team. The Giants are in rebuild mode (once again) with a new front office and coaching staff. Bradberry’s presence on defense, while certainly significant, is unlikely to be a successful year.

Giants cornerback James Bradberry interrupts a pass intended for the Rams' Robert Woods on Oct. 17, 2021.
Giants cornerback James Bradberry interrupts a pass intended for the Rams’ Robert Woods on Oct. 17, 2021.
USA TODAY sports

Bradberry’s first two seasons with the Giants closely paralleled the workings of top-flight free agency: paying good or very good but not great players with big bucks.

It’s obvious Bradberry won’t be on the team this season with his projected $21.8 million cap hit. He has no reason to take a pay cut considering he’s been healthy and played at a high level for the past two seasons – despite being a more effective player in 2020 than he was in 2021. Shepard (torn Achilles tendon) and Martinez (torn ACL ) suffer serious injuries and surgeries and had no leverage when the Giants came to them demanding massive pay cuts.

Without Bradberry, the best cornerbacks on the roster are Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson. Jackson signed a three-year, $39 million contract in free agency last year and did not produce to that extent. Robinson, a 2021 third-round draft pick, began his NFL career on injured reserve and eventually got into nine games. He needed time to acclimatize and only briefly showed what the Giants expect of him.

Two other cornerbacks in the roster, Darnay Holmes and Rodarius Williams, ended last season on injured reserve. Another corner, Jarren Williams, is an exclusive free agent.

If the Giants are able to trade Bradberry, it would increase the need to add a cornerback high in next month’s NFL draft. They own #5 and #7 overall picks and it’s likely they would be able to Choose Sauce Gardner from Cincinnati or Derek Stingley Jr. from LSU. The Giants prefer not to go into the draft with another big hole because they already have enough of it (offensive line and edge rusher at the top) and it’s often risky to pick high specifically as needed in the first round .

New head coach Brian Daboll hired Wink Martindale as the Giants’ defensive coordinator and Martindale’s pressure packs rely on cornerbacks to hold up, often in man-marking. Taking Bradberry away makes Martindale’s job harder.

It will be a brand new defense installed by Martindale, but there will be some familiarity in the defensive backcourt as Daboll retained Jerome Henderson from Joe Judge’s coaching staff. Henderson is returning to coach defenders and that should help ease the transition for those left over from the 2021 season.

“I was thrilled to have my dog ​​Jerome there,” Jackson recently told the Post. “He taught us a lot, especially about the game, he was able to play that position at the highest level and make games and see things and try to coach us and teach us and in that way too.” help. He was a great person trying to teach us how to be men in life. There were always life lessons we talked about, whether it was football or just life in general.

“I was definitely excited, I think it gives us a lot more, I think I would say comfort. Although it is a new coordinator but you have someone who is familiar with you, knows the game, can help you and he knows how we understand and learn things and can teach us from what he has learned it is a plus to keep it “Come back with us.” The Giants must make a decision from James Bradberry


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