New York Giants: ESPN Disses Bradberry Signing As ‘Overrated’

The New York Giants came into the offseason with no leader in the secondary after moving on from Janoris Jenkins last year, but they quickly solved that problem in free agency by bringing in former Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry as a free agent. Bradberry is set to fill in for the role that Jenkins previously played – both on the field and in the locker room as the experienced leader of the team’s group of cornerbacks.

However, despite the deal being praised by fans, not everyone thinks that it was a good move.

Pro Football Focus doesn’t rate Bradberry as highly as some others and ESPN listed Bradberry with their overrated free agents partly for those reasons.



Consider he has failed to crack a 65.0 coverage grade in each of the past three seasons, and none of those seasons ended with him ranking among the 50 best cornerbacks in the league in our ratings.

 

Over those past three seasons, Bradberry gave up 53 explosive plays of 15-plus yards at outside corner, five more than anyone else in the NFL in that period. The Giants’ secondary was pretty poor before the move (it ranked 30th in team coverage grade in 2019), and it’s hard to tell how much a player like Bradberry really moves the needle.

The sources used will of course be controversial, because the grades from Pro Football Focus contradict Bradberry’s performances last season, where he was one of the league’s better lockdown corners – a better version of the player that he’s set to replace for the Giants, Janoris Jenkins.

In his biggest matchups, he only allowed a touchdown to Michael Thomas, but shut him down in the second matchup between the two and only allowed him no receptions in two targets. He did allow seven receptions and 82 yards to Mike Evans, but no touchdowns, and the performance appears to be more of an anomaly than a regular thing. Especially as Bradberry allowed few yards to other top receivers such as Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins.

It’s hard to knock the Giants for signing such a player, regardless of what the advanced analytics and the models from Pro Football Focus say.

Bradberry will have a good chance to display why predictions like this are wrong, of course – this season, he’ll come in as the top corner on the Giants by a wide margin, and a lot of pressure will fall on his shoulders accordingly. Will the new signing respond? We’ll find out quickly enough this fall.

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