I wrote a blog in the beginning of March about how the Giants should look to the release of Kevin Zeitler in 2020 before cutting Blake Martinez or James Bradberry. Thankfully, Martinez restructured his contract and will be back in blue in 2022. Bradberry, on the other hand, is now on the verge of being cut after the Giants look to have failed to find a trade partner. Since I wrote that first blog I have done some thinking on this situation. Some of that thinking goes back to the Zeitler situation as I said in the previous blog I wouldn’t have cut him then or now. Now to be fair, I don’t recall the other options the Giants had to save that money in 2021, but I do know at least some of the other options the Giants have if they do want to keep Bradberry. The problem is, I don’t know if those options are what is best for the Giants in the long term.
When the Giants signed James Bradberry back in 2020, he was close to being an All-Pro in his first season with the G-Men. Last year, he certainly took a step back, but I think people misinterpret this as him having a bad year. James Braberry was still a very solid corner, and the 1-2 punch of him and Adoree Jackson is a very good starting corner duo. This is why I absolutely hate the idea of getting rid of him. What I do accept is the fact that the Giants are so cap strung that they need to free up money to sing their draft class and cutting/trading Bradberry would give them that money. The problem is that other teams in the NFL know that the Giants are trying to trade Bradberry, so they’re just waiting for him to be released.
So, do the Giants have any other option then to release him at this point?
The Giants of course have other options, but those options may not be in the best interest of the team. These other options all would likely have to do with “kicking the can down the road.” They could extend either Bradberry, or other Giants such as Leonard Williams or Kenny Golladay. Williams has a potential out at the end of his contract this year and Golladay is already under contract through 2025 (with a potential out in 2024) and is coming of a highly scrutinized year. Extending either of these players into their 30’s is a risky move not to mention that pushing money into future years is why the Giants are in their current cap situation. Another option the Giants have would be to trade Saquon Barkley (which I am in favor of for the right value). This would free up a little over 7 million dollars, and if you couple that with trading Darius Slayton and maybe even cutting Nick Gates depending on his health, you would come close to the number you need to keep Bradberry and sign the draft class. This is also all easier said than done though, and the Giants don’t seem very keen on trading Saquon Barkley, so they may be at a dead end here with their number 1 cornerback.
I hate losing good players for nothing, especially when I still believe they can play at a high level. This looks like the path the Giants are on with Bradberry. This would create another hole on a team, that even after the draft, has a lot of them. Listen, maybe Aaron Robinson is the answer on the outside, but I would like to see more of him before he’s given that role.
I’m no cap expert, but if there’s a way to keep Bradberry without hurting the team long term, then the Giants should do it. The problem is there may not be that option and to be frank, that really sucks.
(Photo: Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)