New York Giants have to make difficult cap decisions – could James Bradberry be released?

New York Giants, James Bradberry

The New York Giants are being led by new management in 2022. Joe Schoen was hired as the team’s new general manager and he has inherited a complete mess in the salary cap. Schoen admitted, the salary cap is a struggle, and he is going to need to clear roughly $40M and make some very difficult decisions. Could one of those difficult decisions be made at the expense of Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry?

In 2020, James Bradberry was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Many felt as though the Giants’ defender was snubbed from an All-Pro selection. However, Bradberry’s 2021 season did not live up to the same expectations. With one year left on his contract, James Bradberry could be a potential salary-cap casualty in 2022.

Could James Bradberry be cut this offseason?

In 2020, the New York Giants signed James Bradberry to a three-year, $43.5M contract. In a strange turn of events, this deal looked like a bargain in year one but looked like an overpay in year two. Bradberry was solid in 2021 but did not uphold the standard he set in 2020.

Former general manager Dave Gettleman did restructure James Bradberry’s contract last year to give the team more short-term cap flexibility. But this move ballooned Bradberry’s 2022 salary cap hit to a whopping $21.86M. This is one of many Gettleman contracts currently leaving the Giants with little cap flexibility.

As high as this salary cap hit may be, the Giants do have some wiggle room in James Bradberry’s contract. Bradberry’s 2022 dead cap hit is only $9.7M, meaning cutting the cornerback would net the Giants with $12M in salary cap savings. This chunk of change would go a long way toward reaching that $40M target that Joe Schoen is trying to reach.

The Giants also have some other talents in the secondary that could step into Bradberry’s role. Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, and Aaron Robinson are all younger, cheaper options that New York has under contract. Granted, James Bradberry is the team’s best cornerback. But Joe Schoen and the Giants will have to decide whether or not the difference in talent is worth the additional money spent on the salary.

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