James Bradberry Cut by Giants After Trade Rumors; Saves $10.1M in Cap Space

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 9, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: James Bradberry #24 of the New York Giants during warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The New York Giants released cornerback James Bradberry on Monday.

The Giants tried to find a trade partner for their former No. 1 cornerback but released the six-year NFL veteran instead, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic:

Dan Duggan @DDuggan21

The Giants are releasing CB James Bradberry after failing to find a trade partner, per source. The move will create $10.1M in cap savings while leaving $11.7M in dead money. <br><br>(Savings will be $11.5M with $10.4M dead this year and $1.4M dead in 2023 if they make it a June 1 cut)

Bradberry signed a three-year, $43.5 million contract with the Giants in 2020 after four years with the Carolina Panthers. He made the Pro Bowl in his first season with New York.

The Giants are undergoing a rebuild under a new regime with general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll.

One of Schoen's tasks has been to get the team under the salary cap. Prior to the Bradberry release, the Giants had minus-$7.2 million in effective cap space, per Over the Cap, so they had to make drastic moves to get out of the red.

Trading or releasing Bradberry was an obvious choice. The Giants aren't in position to compete for a Super Bowl following a 4-13 season.

Although Bradberry was one of the Giants' best defensive players and two years removed from a Pro Bowl appearance, keeping him didn't make much sense given his cap hit and the team's rebuilding process.

The Giants did engage in trade talks, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, and the Kansas City Chiefs emerged as the primary option. However, nothing materialized.

Schoen gave an update on WFAN Sports Radio's Carton & Roberts last week (h/t Ryan Morik of Yahoo Sports):

"We're working through that right now. His agents have been great, we've been in constant communication, I've talked to James, it's been very professional throughout the whole process, and we should have some resolution, hopefully, by the end of the week.
"It's unfortunate, because he's a great kid… I've always spoken very highly of the kid. Listen, he's a starting corner in the league. It's just, where we are financially, we still gotta sign our draft picks, we gotta be able to sign our practice squad, and then have replacement costs early in the season."

Schoen said he thought there would be more trade interest but that it didn't work out:

"I thought there would be more interest. There were some teams that showed interest pre-draft, and we had a couple of different times there were compensation in place, and the contracts never worked out. Being the fact that we did have good talks with other teams and their agents, had good talks with teams, sometimes, if you're gonna renegotiate a contract and you couldn't come to an agreement, it is what it is."

Bradberry shouldn't have a shortage of suitors. While his 2021 season wasn't as good as his 2020 Pro Bowl campaign, he amassed 35 pass breakups and seven interceptions over his two years as the Giants' top cornerback.

As for the Giants, they have a massive hole at cornerback. It'll be up to players like Adoree' Jackson, Aaron Robinson, Darnay Holmes and rookie Cordale Flott to get the job done.